Amphibious Assault Ship

LHD 2  -  USS Essex

 

 

LHD-2 USS Essex South China Sea 2010

Type, Class:

 

Amphibious Assault Ship (Multi Purpose) - LHD; Wasp - class

planned and built as LHD 2

Builder:

 

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA

STATUS:

 

Awarded: September 10, 1986

Laid down: March 20, 1989

Launched: March 16, 1991

Commissioned: October 17, 1992

ACTIVE UNIT/ in commission (Pacific Fleet)

Homeport:

 

forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan

Namesake:

 

Traditionally; named in honor of the previous 4 ships which were named Essex;

> see history, below;

Ship's Motto:

 

TAKE NOTICE

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)

 

see: INFO > Wasp class Amphibious Assault Ship - LHD

 

ship images

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Indian Ocean 2011

Indian Ocean - November 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Wasp class amphibious assault ship

Indian Ocean - November 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Okinawa Japan 2011

Okinawa, Japan - November 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II VMA-214 Black Sheep South China Sea 2011

AV-8B (VMA-214 ‘Black Sheep’) - South China Sea - October 2011

 

AV-8B Harrier II VMA-214 Black Sheep USS Essex LHD-2

AV-8B’s (VMA-214 ‘Black Sheep’) - South China Sea - October 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Wasp class amphibious assault ship Philippine Sea 2011

Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Philippine Sea 2011

Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex hangar deck AV-8B Harrier II VMA-214 Black Sheep

Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 well deck LCU-1627

LCU-1627 - Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 AH-1W Super Cobra HMM-265 REIN

AH-1W Super Cobra (HMM-265/REIN) - Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 replenishment VERTREP Philippine Sea 2011

Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 CH-46E Sea Knight HMM-265 REIN

CH-46E Sea Knights (HMM-265/REIN) - Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-46E Sea Knight HMM-265 REIN

CH-46E Sea Knights (HMM-265/REIN) - Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

AV-8B Harriers aboard USS Essex LHD-1

AV-8B Harriers - Philippine Sea - October 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCU-1627 approaches well deck Philippine Sea 2011

Philippine Sea - September 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 AH-1W Super Cobra

AH-1W Super Cobra - Philippine Sea - September 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCU approaching

Philippine Sea - September 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II VMA-214 Black Sheep

AV-8B Harrier II (VMA-214 Black Sheep) - Pacific Ocean - September 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II VMA-214

Pacific Ocean - September 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-53E Sea Stallion HMM-265 Philippine Sea 2011

CH-53E Sea Stallion (HMM-265) - Philippine Sea - June 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo Japan

Sasebo, Japan - June 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex MH-60S Seahawk HSC-25 Sasebo

MH-60S (HSC-25) - Sasebo, Japan - June 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2

White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck marriage LCU

White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan - April 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 flight deck

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pacific Ocean 2011

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 well deck LCU

Pacific Ocean - April 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 CH-53E Sea Stallion HMM-262 flight deck

CH-53E Sea Stallion (HMM-262) - Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex flight deck

Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-46E Sea Knight flight deck

Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Pacific Ocean - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex bridge

China Sea - March 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sepangar Malaysia 2011

Sepangar, Malaysia - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Gulf of Thailand

Gulf of Thailand - March 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCAC well deck

Gulf of Thailand - February 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 exercise Cobra Gold 2011 Thailand

Exercise COBRA GOLD 2011 - Gulf of Thailand - February 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II exercise Cobra Gold 2011

Exercise COBRA GOLD 2011 - Gulf of Thailand - February 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Gulf of Thailand

Gulf of Thailand - February 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Okinawa, Japan - January 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Okinawa Japan 2011

Okinawa, Japan - January 2011

 

USS Essex LHD-2 AV-8B Harrier II flight deck

East China Sea - January 2011

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier landing

Philippine Sea - December 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Philippine Sea 2010 JMSDF SH-60 Seahawk

JMSDF SH-60 helicopter lands aboard USS Essex - Philippine Sea - December 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex JMSDF LCAC approaches well deck

Japanese Marine Self Defense Force LCAC - East China Sea - December 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Hong Kong 2010

Hong Kong - November 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex replenishment

Pacific Ocean - October 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Mk-29 launcher

RIM-7 Sea Sparrow was launched from a Mk-29 missile launcher - East China Sea - September 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow launch

RIM-7 Sea Sparrow was launched from a Mk-29 missile launcher - Philippine Sea - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCU-1627 well deck

Philippine Sea - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck

well deck view - Philippine Sea - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II VMA-542 Tigers

AV-8B Harrier II (VMA-542) - Philippine Sea - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier VMA-542 US Marines

AV-8B Harrier II (VMA-542) - Philippine Sea - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Okinawa, Japan - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-46 Sea King CH-53 Sea Stallion

Sea of Japan - September 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2 AV-8B Harrier II

Sea of Japan - September 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCU-1634 landing craft utility

Sea of Japan - March 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Subic Bay Philippines 2010

Subic Bay, Philippines - March 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex South China Sea 2010

South China Sea - March 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Gulf of Thailand 2010

Gulf of Thailand - February 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Gulf of Thailand - February 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Gulf of Thailand - February 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Wasp class amphibious assault ship

Gulf of Thailand - February 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Gulf of Thailand 2010

Gulf of Thailand - February 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sasebo Japan snow

Sasebo, Japan - January 2010

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo Japan 2010

Sasebo, Japan - January 2010

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex 2009

Pacific Ocean - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - November 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Pacific Ocean - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Philippine Sea 2009

Philippine Sea - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Philippine Sea - November 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 flight deck view

Philippine Sea - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex flight deck

Philippine Sea - November 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sasebo Japan 2009

Sasebo, Japan - October 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo

Sasebo, Japan - August 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 hangar deck

Sasebo, Japan - August 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B take off

Philippine Sea - August 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-46 Sea Knight Coral Sea

Coral Sea - July 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Coral Sea

Coral Sea - July 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Coral Sea Sea Knight

Coral Sea - July 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-1 Australian Navy light amphibious resupply cargo vessel LARC well deck

Australian Navy light amphibian resupply cargo vessels (LARC) - Coral Sea - July 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex coral sea

Coral Sea - July 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 CH-53 Sea Stallion East China Sea

East China Sea - May 2009

 

LHD-1 USS Essex Subic Bay Philippines 2009

Subic Bay, Philippines - April 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCU well deck

Subic Bay, Philippines - April 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 South China Sea 2009

South China Sea - April 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Gulf of Thailand 2009

Gulf of Thailand - February 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 LSD-46 USS Tortuga replenishment RAS UNREP

Gulf of Thailand - February 2009

 

LSD-46 USS Tortuga and LHD-2 USS Essex replenishment at sea

Gulf of Thailand - February 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Gulf of Thailand - February 2009

 

LHD-2 USS Essex MH-60S Seahawk HSC-25 Sasebo Japan 2009

MH-60S (HSC-25) - Sasebo, Japan - January 2009

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Hong Kong 2008

Hong Kong - November 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - November 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2 VERTREP

South China Sea - October 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pacific Ocean 2008

Pacific Ocean - October 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCU

Okinawa, Japan - September 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo Japan 2008

Sasebo, Japan - September 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCAC well deck

Sea of Japan - September 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Tokyo Japan 2008

Tokyo, Japan - August 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Tokyo, Japan - August 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Okinawa, Japan - June 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2 well deck vehicles

Sattahip, Thailand - June 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Andaman Sea

Andaman Sea - June 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Andaman Sea - June 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Andaman Sea - June 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Andaman Sea - June 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex flight deck operations

Andaman Sea - June 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Singapore Strait

Singapore Strait - June 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Andaman Sea 2008

Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex and LPD-10 USS Juneau Andaman Sea

USS Juneau (LPD 10) and USS Essex (LHD 2) - Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Andaman Sea - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex CH-53E Sea Stallion flight deck

Gulf of Thailand - May 2008

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Gulf of Thailand - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck stern gate

Gulf of Thailand - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Gulf of Thailand - May 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

East China Sea - March 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

South China Sea - February 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Subic Bay Philippines 2008

Subic Bay, Philippines - February 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - February 2008

 

USSS Essex LHD-2 stern gate

Sasebo, Japan - January 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sasebo Japan 2008

Sasebo, Japan - January 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sasebo

Sasebo, Japan - January 2008

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sihanoukville Cambodia flight deck CH-46 Sea Knight

Sihanoukville, Cambodia - November 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Gulf of Thailand 2007

Gulf of Thailand - November 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Po'Hang Korea 2007

Po’Hang, Korea - November 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Korea 2007

Po’Hang, Korea - November 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex 2007

Po’Hang, Korea - November 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - October 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Okinawa Japan LCAC landing

Okinawa, Japan - October 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Subic Bay

Subic Bay, Philippines - October 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo 2007

Sasebo, Japan - July 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Shoalwater Bay Queensland Australia well deck operations

Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, Australia - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCAC

Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, Australia - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Shoalwater Bay QLD Australia

Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, Australia - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Coral Sea 2007

Coral Sea - June 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Brisbane Australia 2007

Brisbane, Australia - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex exercise talisman sabre 2007

Exercise Talisman Sabre - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex exercise talisman sabre 2007

Exercise Talisman Sabre - June 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex South China Sea 2007

South China Sea - April 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Busan Republic of Korea 2007

Busan, Republic of Korea - April 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pohang Korea 2007

Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pohang Republic of Korea 2007

Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex exercise Foal Eagle 2007 Pohang Korea

Exercise FOAL EAGLE 07 - Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 exercise foal eagle korea 2007

Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCU-1631

Exercise FOAL EAGLE 07 - Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier II Sea of Japan 2007

Sea of Japan - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCU operations 2007

Pacific Ocean - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pohang Republic of Korea 2007

Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCAC well deck

Pohang, Republic of Korea - March 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 LCU well deck operations

Pacific Ocean - March 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Pacific Ocean 2007

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex AV-8B Harrier flight deck operations

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCU

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck LCAC

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 well deck stern view

Pacific Ocean - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex LCU-1651 Sasebo Japan 2007

Sasebo, Japan - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex well deck

Sasebo, Japan - February 2007

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Harrier landing well deck

Sasebo, Japan - February 2007

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo

Sasebo, Japan - December 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Pacific Ocean - November 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Pacific Ocean - November 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Pacific Ocean - November 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 underway replenishment Philippine Sea 2006

Philippine Sea - October 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 South China Sea 2006

South China Sea - October 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 well deck LCAC

Pacific Ocean - October 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Yokosuka Japan 2006

Yokosuka, Japan - September 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Pohang Republic of China April 2006

Pohang, Republic of Korea - April 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Yellow Sea 2006

Yellow Sea - March 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Wasp class amphibious assault ship

Philippine Sea - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Leyte Gulf 2006

Leyte Gulf, Philippines - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Subic Bay Philippines 2006

Subic Bay, Philippines - February 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2

off the coast of the Philippines - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Sibuyan Sea 2006

Sibuyan Sea - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Subic Bay 2006

Subic Bay, Philippines - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex San Bernardino Straits 2006

San Bernadino Straits, Philippines - February 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2

Philippine Sea - February 2006

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Apra Harbor Guam 2006

Apra Harbor, Guam - February 2006

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Sasebo 2005

Sasebo, Japan - July 2005

 

LHD-2 USS Essex MH-53E Sea Dragon HM-15 Sumatra 2005

MH-53E Sea Dragon (HM-15) - off Sumatra, Indonesia - January 2005

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Persian Gulf 2004

Persian Gulf - September 2004

 

LHD-2 USS Essex and LHA-3 USS Belleau Wood Arabian Gulf 2004

Arabian Gulf - September 2004

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Sasebo, Japan - June 2004

 

USS Essex LHD-2 Republic of Korea 2004

off the coast of the Republic of Korea - March 2004

 

USS Essex LHD-2 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow SAM Mk-29 launcher

RIM-7 Sea Sparrow SAM was launched from a Mk-29 missile launcher aboard USS Essex - February 2004

 

LHD-2 USS Essex RIM-7 Sea Sparrow launch Mk-29 missile launcher

RIM-7 Sea Sparrow SAM was launched from a Mk-29 missile launcher aboard USS Essex - February 2004

 

LHD-2 USS Essex Luzon Philippines 2003

Luzon, Philippines - September 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex White Beach Port Facility Okinawa Japan 2003

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

USS Essex LHD-2 White Beach Port Facility

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex White Beach Port Facility Okinawa

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex white beach port facility okinawa japan

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex white beach port

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

USS Essex LHD-2 okinawa japan 2003

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex japan 2003

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex white beach port facility okinawa japan 2003

White Beach Port Facility, Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

Okinawa, Japan - February 2003

 

LHD-2 USS Essex hangar deck

September 2002

 

LHD-2 USS Essex

March 2002

 

USS Essex LHD-2 okinawa japan 2000

Okinawa, Japan - October 2000

 

LHD-2 USS Essex San Diego California 1996

San Diego, California - October 1996

 

USS Essex LHD-2 and FF-1076 USS Fanning San Diego 1993

FF-1076 USS Fanning and LHD-2 USS Essex - San Diego, California - July 1993

 

LHD-2 USS Essex commissioning ceremony NAS North Island California 1992

commissioning ceremony - NAS North Island, California - October 17, 1992

 

USS Essex LHD-2 commissioning ceremony NAS North Island 1992

commissioning ceremony - NAS North Island, California - October 17, 1992

 

LHD-2 USS Essex commissioning NAS North Island 1992

commissioning ceremony - NAS North Island, California - October 17, 1992

 

LHD-2 USS Essex construction

Pascagoula, Mississippi - January 1991 (Ingalls photo - via DVIC)

 

LHD-2 USS Essex construction Ingalls Pascagoula Mississippi

Pascagoula, Mississippi - January 1991 (Ingalls photo)

 

USS Essex LHD-2 construction Ingalls Pascagoula Mississippi

Pascagoula, Mississippi - January 1991 (Ingalls photo)

 

LHD-2 USS Essex construction Litton Ingalls Pascagoula Mississippi

Pascagoula, Mississippi - January 1991 (Ingalls photo)

 

LHD-2 USS Essex keel laying ceremony Pascagoula 1989

keel laying ceremony - Pascagoula, Mississippi - March 1989 (Ingalls photo)

 

 

Namesake & History:

On October 25, 1798, a meeting of the sponsors of the first Essex was held to determine the type of vessel to be built. From the Salem Gazette of October 26, 1798, came the following announcement which read in part: “At a meeting in this town on Tuesday last, of those gentlemen who have subscribed to build a ship for the service of the United States, it was voted unanimously to build a frigate of 32 guns, and to loan the same to the government…”

A month later, the frigate's builder, Enoch Briggs, advertised for shipbuilding materials in a ringing appeal: “Take Notice! Ye sons of freedom! Step forth and give your assistance in building the frigate to oppose French insolence and piracy! Let every man in possession of a white oak tree feel ambitious to be foremost in hurrying down the timber to Salem …where noble structure is to be fabricated and maintain your rights upon the seas and make the name of America respected among the nations of the world! Your longest and largest trees are wanted…four trees are wanted for the keel, which altogether measure 146 feet in length, and hew 16 inches square. Please call on the subscriber, who…will pay the ready cash.”

The frigate was launched on September 30, 1799, before a crowd of 12,000 people. The expected war with France did not materialize, but in the War of 1812, the first Essex compiled a battle record unequaled by any other man-of-war, and by the close of 1813, Essex was the only vessel of worth to be operating (all others having been captured, damaged, or sunk).

America was young. While struggling to establish economic and political stability under the new constitution, the United States faced continued threats from French naval forces against a new and thriving maritime industry. To protect these interests, Congress passed several acts to establish a token naval force; and on June 30, 1798, the act which enabled Essex to be built came into being. This act allowed the President to accept vessels of war from private citizens on the credit of thUnited States . In response to this action, 23 citizens of Salem , in the county of Essex , Massachusetts , opened a “Patriotic Subscription” on July 17, 1798, to build a vessel of war for the United States of America.


That a legend was born...

The second Essex, an ironclad steamer, was built in 1856 for use as a ferry. Originally NEW ERA, it was renamed Essex following purchase by the War Department on September 20, 1861. She participated in action against the Confederate forces on the cumberland and Tennessee rivers. She was decommissioned on July 20,1865.


The third Essex, a wooden-screw steamer, was built by the United States at East Boston , Massachusetts , and was commissioned on October 3, 1876. Essex saw action with the North and South Atlantic Squadrons and on the Pacific and Asian stations. It returned to New York via the Suez canal and was placed out of commission in May 1889. (Later, this vessel became shipwrecked in Lake Superior.)


The fourth Essex , was an aircraft carrier (CV 9) and came into duty as the lead ship in a class of World War II aircraft carriers. Commissioned in December 1942, she reported to the Pacific Fleet following shakedown cruises and embarked on a series of victories that would take her to Tokyo Bay . As the flagship of Task Force 14, CV 9 struck Wake Island in October 1943, launched an attack on the Gilbert Islands, and participated in her first amphibious assault (against Tarawa) in November, then moved on to the Marshall Islands, Truk and the Marianas, Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in early 1944.

In the closing days of the war, Essex took part in the final telling raids against the Japanese home islands. She was decommissioned in 1947, then modernized and recommissioned in 1951, with a new flight deck and streamlined superstructure. As flagship for Carrier Division 1, she was the first carrier to launch twin-engine F2H “Banshee” jet fighters in support of troops in Korea . She was reclassified (CVA 9) on October 1, 1952.

Following her Korean action, she was again modernized, this time with an angled flight deck, and saw duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in the late 1950s. She was decommissioned July 30, 1969.

 

USS Essex (LHD 2):


USS Essex (LHD-2) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship commissioned on 17 October 1992, after being built at what is now the Northrop Grumman Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Dick Cheney, then the Secretary of Defense in the first Bush Administration, spoke at the commissioning ceremony; the Essex was moored at North Island NAS, next to the Kitty Hawk (CV-63). Essex conducted an arduous and highly successful training program, during the spring of 1993, and on August 18th, she was undergoing upgrades, during Post Shakedown Availability, in Long Beach harbor until November 23rd while her crew was at 4 section duty. Her maiden deployment was in October 1994. With the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) embarked, Essex showcased her abilities on numerous occasions. The highlight of the deployment came in January of 1995, when she left the Persian Gulf to prepare for the complex task of covering the withdrawal of UN multinational force from Somalia in Operation United Shield. Under fire from advancing Somalis, every member of the force was successfully extracted. Essex returned to San Diego on 25 April 1995.

After a short maintenance period, Essex embarked on a vigorous workup cycle, culminating in her participation in RIMPAC ’96, a biennial, seven-nation naval exercise. On 10 October 1996, she embarked on her second Western Pacific deployment, with the 11th MEU (SOC) and Amphibious Squadron FIVE.

During the deployment, Essex participated in multinational exercises with Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, as well as Exercise Tandem Thrust ’97, an American-Australian combined exercise with over 28,000 troops, 250 aircraft and 40 ships participating.

Upon her return in April 1997, Essex again went into a short maintenance period, followed by a shortened workup cycle. She then departed for her third Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf deployment on 22 June 1998 with the 15th MEU (SOC) and Amphibious Squadron FIVE.

Essex participated in Exercises Sea Soldier and Red Reef, and participated in Military SALT and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations with the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. Additionally, Essex supported Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the UN-mandated no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

On 26 July 2000, after successful completion of the largest crew swap in U.S. Navy history, Essex replaced Belleau Wood (LHA-3) and inherited the distinctive role as the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed Amphibious Assault Ship in Sasebo, Japan.

In the role, Essex participated in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations in East Timor in October and November 2001; Foal Eagle in Korea in 2002; and the Philippines mudslide recovery in February 2006.

In 2004, Essex carried the 31st MEU to Kuwait. Along with Harpers Ferry and Juneau. Essex stayed in the Persian Gulf while the 31st MEU and the combat element 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, went into Iraq for the Battle of Fallujah. During that time, Essex went to aid in the Humanitarian missions in Banda Aceh, Indonesia after the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2005. She then returned to the Persian Gulf to embark the 31st MEU and the combat element despite being in need of maintenance. After picking up the MEU and the Combat Element, the three ships returned to Okinawa, Japan. The ship had been at sea a total of 8 months.

 

 

2010 - During October 21 - 23, the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group provided humanitarian assistance/disaster relief to the Philippines after the Super Typhoon Juan (international name Megi) caused extensive destruction to municipalities along the eastern coast of the Province of Isabela. Despite the effort of the Essex Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st MEU, and elements of the 3rd MEB and Marine Air Group 36, no Humanitarian Service Medal and/or Philippine Presidential Unit Citation were awarded.

2011 - On the request for assistance from the Japanese government, the Navy directed the Essex to be deployed off the northeastern coast of Honshu after the massive 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The ship was involved in relief activities in the Sea of Japan off Akita Prefecture. Helicopters from the ship helped deliver relief supplies to quake and tsunami survivors along the northeast coast of Tohoku.

The ship departed Sasebo in September 2011 for a patrol of the western Pacific. Accompanying the ship were the USS Germantown (LSD-42) and USS Denver (LPD-9).

 


Since her commissioning, Essex has received numerous awards, including all of the warfare excellence awards, seven Battle “E” awards (most recently in 2006), the Golden Anchor Award for retention, the Ney Award for food service excellence, the Thompson Award for public affairs excellence, the Ogden Award for firefighting excellence, and the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific Safety Award.

 

patches

 

 

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