AT SEA - Every great journey begins somewhere and this is
the beginning of the journey of the forward-deployed
amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).
Throughout the course of this journey, we'll detail what it
takes to get a U.S. Navy warship prepared to take to the
seas and help the Navy maintain its presence throughout the
world. It's a combination of some of the greatest Sailors in
the world and a dedication to a common cause that makes this
This series will highlight the work of these Sailors, from the
ones who launch the birds into the endless blue sky to the ones who
work countless hours to keep Bonhomme Richard propelling forward,
and paint a clear picture of the massive amount of work it takes to
ensure Bonhomme Richard can take to the sea and execute her mission.
First, we'll give you the details of Bonhomme Richard and then
turn the spotlight to the people that make her special.
November 22, 2014 - The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme
Richard (LHD 6) steams through the East China Sea. Bonhomme Richard
is the namesake if the Continental Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard,
commanded by Capt. John Paul Jones, and carries on it's proud
tradition today. (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication
Specialist 2nd Class Ty C. Connors)
Bonhomme Richard is a hallowed name in Naval history and
elicits memories of great sea battles, immortal figures and
the embodiment of Naval tradition. It all began with the
wooden, 42-gun Continental Navy Bonhomme Richard. Originally
built by France 1765 as a merchant vessel, Bonhomme Richard
was propelled into history by legendary Navy Capt. John Paul
Jones. On September 23, 1779, Jones steered Bonhomme Richard
into the Battle of Flamborough Head against the British
Warship HMS Serapis. After four hours of battling, the
victory of Serapis seemed assured and the commanding officer
of Serapis demanded Jones surrender. Jones reply is still
one of the most well-known phrases in Naval history as he
cried, “Sir, I have not yet begun to fight!.”
battle continued, and although Bonhomme Richard had
sustained irreparable damage, Serapis finally
surrendered launching Jones and his crew into the annals of history.
Bonhomme Richard sunk from the damage it sustained 36 hours later
but, its proud tradition of valor in the face of adversity would
carry on in its namesake, the Essex-class Aircraft Carrier USS Bon
Homme Richard (CV-31). The Bon Homme Richard aircraft carrier would
serve its country proudly for 27years throughout the course of World
War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, earning five Battle
Stars along the way.
Today, the Wasp-class amphibious assault
ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) carries on the legacy of the
Bonhomme Richard name. Her technical details are startling:
commissioned in May 1997, she weighs in at 40,500 tons and has a
length of 844 feet. She can steam at a rate of 20 knots per hour and
is kept running by a crew of 1,100 Sailors. When she takes to the
sea, she can take on an additional 1900 Marines to provide land
support in a time of crisis. In addition to transporting the crew,
she has the capability to carry over 50 aircraft while launching up
to three Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC) out of her well deck.
It's a sterling combination of these abilities that enable her to
execute her mission by land, air or sea.
At the heart of this
modern marvel is her crew and, in the next part of this series, we
will highlight the Sailors serving in her Navigation Department and
Operations Department as they paint a picture of the coordination
that goes into planning and executing Bonhomme Richard's mission.
By U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam D. Wainwright
USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs
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