An island in the Marianas; the site of the initial Allied landings in that group on 15 June 1944. After bitter fighting ashore and at sea, the island was secured in mid-July and developed into an Allied air base.
The second Saipan (LHA-2) was laid down on 21 July 1972 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Miss.; launched on 20 July 1974; sponsored by Mrs. J. William Middendorf II, wife of Secretary of the Navy Middendorf. Commissioning of the amphibious assault ship is scheduled to take place in September 1975.