The first U.S. Navy ship named for Harry S. Truman (8 May 1884-26 December 1972), the 33rd President of the United States. For additional information see: Harry S. Truman and Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
(CVN-75: Displacement 101,378; length 1,092'; beam 252'; draft 41'; speed 30 + knots; complement 6,275; armament NATO Sea Sparrow Basic Point Defense Surface Missile System, two 40 millimeter saluting guns, 85 aircraft, class Nimitz)
Harry S. Truman was authorized as CVN-75 on 30 June 1988; named United States on 9 May 1989; subsequently renamed Harry S. Truman; laid down on 29 November 1993, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched on 7 September 1996; sponsored by Mrs. Barbara Bush, wife of President George H.W. Bush; and commissioned on 25 July 1998 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Capt. Thomas G. Otterbein in command.
Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets completed their second round of sea trials on board Harry S. Truman off the Virginia capes (3-14 March 1999). Capt. Robert O. Wirt Jr., Lieutenant Commanders Timothy H. Baker, Robert L. Floyd, and Michael M. Wallace, Maj. Matt Shihadeh, USMC, and Lieutenants Alan D. Armstrong, Erik O. Etz, and Klas W. Ohman flew F1 and F2 on 3 March.
Aircraft flying from Harry S. Truman, Capt. David L. Logsdon in command, and with CVW-3 embarked, during her maiden deployment to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Arabian Gulf (28 November 2000-23 May 2001), struck an Iraqi radar system in southern Iraq with precision-guided munitions during Operation Southern Watch, on 1 January 2001. Harry S. Truman carried out a maritime interception operation surge in the Arabian Gulf, to enforce Iraqi compliance with UN sanctions, early the next month. On 5 February, Aircraft 617, a Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 7, operating from the ship proved instrumental in a coalition operation that halted the smuggling of 2,300 metric tons of Iraqi oil worth $460,000 by vessels Al Salam and Mustafa. The surge concluded on 11 February.
Following Operation Desert Fox (16-20 December 1998), the Iraqis had launched more than 60 surface-to-air missiles and fired antiaircraft guns more than 1,000 times at aircraft. Early in 2001, coalition intelligence analysts revealed that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had begun to install fiber optic cabling into his air defense network. Iraqi gunners learned to briefly radiate their radars to avoid retribution from Hussein’s henchmen, then shut down and run to escape allied AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, but then began to radiate radars from around Baghdad, outside the no-fly zones, sending targeting data to their guns through the cables.
On 16 February therefore, 25 American and British aircraft attacked Iraqi military targets with the largest strikes since Desert Fox. Harry S. Truman launched F/A-18C Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFAs) 37 and 105 and Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 312, and Grumman EA-6B Prowlers from Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 130, and together with USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagles and British Panavia GR.1 Tornados, the allied aircraft struck five Iraqi radar, and command, control, and communication nodes outside Baghdad with a variety of ordnance including AGM-154A Joint Standoff Weapons.
The Blue Angel’s Hornets fly over Harry S. Truman during Fleet Week in Broward County, Fla., 4 May 2002. (Photographer’s Mate Airman Brandy Hornback, U.S. Navy Photograph 020504-N-4430H-501, Navy NewsStand)
On 11 April 2003, the Navy designated the Eastern Mediterranean east of 30°E as a zone for eligibility for Imminent Danger Pay or Combat Zone Tax Relief benefits. This move fell short of reaching all the veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom I because it failed to identify those who took part from 19 March. On 18 February 2004, Navy officials thus announced the retroactive eligibility of veterans of Iraqi Freedom for the benefits during that initial 24-day period. The decision principally impacted Task Force 61, including aircraft carriers Harry S. Truman, with CVW-3 embarked, and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), with CVW-8 embarked.
Training Squadron (VT) 9’s Lt. Charles B. Bassel, the squadron’s E-2/C-2 Standardization Officer, performed the last arrested landing of a North American T-2C Buckeye, during carrier qualifications on board Harry S. Truman on 17 July 2003. During Summer Pulse 04 the Navy tested changes to operational methods that resulted from the Fleet Response Plan. At times from June 2004, aircraft carriers Enterprise (CVN-65), George Washington (CVN-73), Harry S. Truman, John C. Stennis (CVN-74), John F. Kennedy (CV-67), Kitty Hawk (CV-63), and Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) deployed in five theaters. Their operations extended into September during scheduled deployments, surge operations, and joint and international exercises.
Two Grumman E-2C Hawkeyes of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 deployed from Harry S. Truman in the Arabian Gulf to Kandahar AB Afghanistan, providing airborne command and control during President Hamid Karzai’s inauguration (4-13 December 2004). On 30 January 2005, aircraft flying from Harry S. Truman provided on-call close air support in 32 sorties during the Iraqi national elections. Aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70) relieved Harry S. Truman in the Arabian Gulf on 20 March. A detachment comprising half the SH-60F and HH-60Hs of HS-8 subsequently deployed from Carl Vinson to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Seahawks patrolled southeastern Iraq and flew maritime security operations over the Northern Arabian Gulf, returning to Carl Vinson on 29 June.
Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico on 29 August 2005. A catastrophic storm surge inundated the levees along the Mississippi River and the rising waters flooded 80% of New Orleans, La. Six E-2C Hawkeyes from VAWs 77, 121, and 126 monitored airspace and directed rescue aircraft. On 30 August amphibious assault ship Bataan (LHD-5) arrived, and augmented two embarked MH-60S Seahawks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 with four Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Stallions from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15. Meanwhile, amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima (LHD-7) moored at New Orleans and became a hub for helicopter operations as Headquarters, Joint Task Force Katrina. On 1 September, Harry S. Truman arrived with elements of 13 helicopter squadrons embarked. Additional naval aviation reinforcements included MH-60s of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadrons (Light) (HSLs) 43, 47, and 49, and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11, two Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knights and six CH-53E Super Stallions from six Marine squadrons from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C., four Super Stallions from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 772, and Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VRs) 57 and 58. Seventy-six Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft rescued 12,535 people during 1,817 sorties. Altogether, more than 5,000 Coast Guardsmen saved 33,545 lives. Over 70 fixed wing aircraft and more than 350 helos from all the services responded.
On 22 February 2008, HS-7, embarked on board Harry S. Truman, and auxiliary dry cargo ship Sacagawea (T-AKE-2) rescued ten Iraqis from Korean-flagged tanker Nadi when she sank in the Arabian Gulf. The following day HS-7 transferred the rescued mariners to British dock landing ship Cardigan Bay (L.3009) for their return to the Iraqi Navy. EA-18Gs from VAQs 129 and 132 completed the first Growler traps on board Harry S. Truman on 5 August 2009.
Heavy rains (late July-early August 2010) caused flooding in Pakistan that killed an estimated 1,600 people and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless. On 9 August amphibious assault ship Peleliu (LHA-5), dock landing ship Pearl Harbor (LSD-52), and amphibious transport dock Dubuque (LPD-8) arrived off Karachi, Pakistan, to render assistance. At times 15 CH-46E Sea Knights of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 165 and CH-53E Super Stallions of HMH-465 from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), augmented by MH-60S Seahawks of HSC-23 and three MH-53E Sea Dragons of HM-15 Detachment 2, contributed to the evacuation of 10,051 people and delivery of 1,895,038-pounds of humanitarian relief supplies to victims. Some of these helos operated from Pakistani airfields at Chaklala, Ghazi, and Pano Aqil. In addition, two Aérospatiale SA-330J Pumas flew from auxiliary dry cargo ship Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1). Meanwhile, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier IIs of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 311 carried out close air support missions from Peleliu for coalition troops fighting Islamic extremists in Afghanistan. On 16 September amphibious assault ship Kearsarge (LHD-3), dock landing ship Carter Hall (LSD-50), and amphibious transport dock Ponce (LPD-15), with Bell Boeing MV-22B Ospreys of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 and helos from the 26th MEU embarked, arrived to participate. Air Force cargo aircraft and ten Army Boeing CH-47 Chinooks and eight Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks also flew humanitarian assistance missions. Peleliu came about on 31 October. Harry S. Truman subsequently arrived, and on 15 November four Super Stallions of the 26th MEU’s VMM-266 refueled on board.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet of VFA-105 makes Harry S. Truman’s 100,000th arrested landing, while the ship operates in the Arabian Sea, 7 November 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park, U.S. Navy Photograph 101107-N-6003P-413, Navy NewsStand)
An F/A-18E Super Hornet of VFA-105 makes Harry S. Truman’s 100,000th launch, while the ship operates in the Arabian Sea, 9 November 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ryan McLearnon, U.S. Navy Photograph 101109-N-6427M-045, Navy NewsStand)
Capt. William Paxton, USMC, of VMFA-312, walks to his Hornet during flight operations, 9 November 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park, U.S. Navy Photograph 101109-N-6003P-236, Navy NewsStand)
Four Marine CH-53E Super Stallions (right, on the port side of the flight deck) refuel on board Harry S. Truman while the ship supports humanitarian relief efforts for the victims of the Pakistani flooding, 15 November 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park, U.S. Navy Photograph 101115-N-6003P-333, Navy NewsStand)
The Super Stallions (right) complete their refueling and continue their flight to Kearsarge (LHD-3), 15 November 2010. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park, U.S. Navy Photograph 101115-N-6003P-487, Navy NewsStand)
An F/A-18C Hornet of VFA-37, embarked on board Harry S. Truman in the Northern Arabian Sea, spotted a vessel on fire about 50 miles from the carrier on 18 August 2010. Two SH-60F Seahawks of HS-7 rescued all eight Iranian seafarers from their stricken vessel.
A Hornet catapults from the ship while others prepare to launch during a composite unit training exercise in the Atlantic, 15 January 2013. The Hornet on the left is a Marine jet from VMFA-312. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher A. Morrison, U.S. Navy Photograph 130115-N-GH675-175, Navy NewsStand)
Families of Harry S. Truman’s crewmembers watch as the ship deploys from Norfolk to the Fifth and Sixth Fleets, 22 July 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shannon M. Smith, U.S. Navy Photograph 130722-N-BD629-028, Navy NewsStand)
The crew’s loved ones watch the ship head to sea, 22 July 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shannon M. Smith, U.S. Navy Photograph 130722-N-PS473-178, Navy NewsStand)
A Marine Hornet of VMFA-312 hurtles from the ship while she patrols the Gulf of Oman, 3 December 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Karl Anderson, U.S. Navy Photograph 131203-N-ZG705-151, Navy NewsStand)
An MH-60S of HSC-22 delivers its load to Harry S. Truman while the carrier replenishes with (left) Military Sealift Command-manned fast combat support ship Arctic (T-AOE-8) in the Gulf of Oman, 3 December 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lyle H. Wilkie, U.S. Navy Photograph 131204-N-GR168-008, Navy NewsStand)
Aircraft carriers George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) (top) and Harry S. Truman sail through the Gulf of Aden, 22 March 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jamie Cosby, U.S. Navy Photograph 140322-N-MV682-434, Navy NewsStand)
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
14 January 2015