Ships of the
United States Navy
Ships grouped alphabetically
Ships grouped by type

This is a list of United States Navy amphibious warfare ships. This type of ship has been in use with the US Navy since World War I.

Ship status is indicated as either currently active [A] (including ready reserve), inactive [I], or precommissioning [P]. Ships in the inactive category include only ships in the inactive reserve, ships which have been disposed from US service have no listed status. Ships in the precommissioning category include ships under construction or on order.

Capabilities overview

There have been four generations of amphibious warfare ships, with each generation having more capability than the previous:

Classifications

Amphibious warfare ships were considered by the US Navy to be auxiliaries and were classed with hull classification symbols beginning with 'A' until 1942. Many ships were reclassed at that time as landing ships and received new hull symbols beginning with 'L'; others would retain 'A' hull symbols until 1969 and then receive 'L' symbols. This article pairs the two lists of what are the same ships, with each 'L' list preceding the respective 'A' list. Littoral Combat Ships also use 'L' hull symbols but are not soley intended for amphibious warfare.

In 2015 the US Navy created new hull classification symbols that began with an 'E' to designate 'expeditionary' vessels. Expeditionary vessels are designed to support low-intensity missions, allowing more expensive, high-value amphibious warfare ships to be re-tasked for more demanding missions.[1]

Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose) (LHA)

USS Tarawa (LHA 1)
USS Tarawa (LHA 1)
USS America (LHA-6)
USS America (LHA-6)

Main article: Landing helicopter assault

Tarawa-class

Main article: Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship

The Tarawa-class LHA was the first to combine the features of the well deck of the Landing Ship Dock (LSD) or Landing Platform Dock (LPD) and the full flight deck of the Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) into one ship.[2]

America-class

Main article: America-class amphibious assault ship

The America-class LHA would be a follow-on to the Wasp-class LHD. The first two ships, America and Tripoli, would not have a well deck, so as to dedicate more space to the support of air operations. This was criticized as a repeat of the mistakes of the LPH concept, and so it was decided that Bougainville and all future ships of this class would have a well deck.[3]

Amphibious Assault Ship (Multi-Purpose) (LHD)

USS Wasp (LHD-1)
USS Wasp (LHD-1)

Main article: Landing helicopter dock

Wasp-class

Main article: Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

The well deck of the Tarawa-class LHA was not designed to accommodate the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), which came into service just six years after the last of that class was completed. The Wasp-class LHD and the later units of the America-class LHA were designed to be LCAC compatible.[4]

Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH)

USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2)
USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2)
USS Princeton (LPH-5)
USS Princeton (LPH-5)
Thetis Bay (LPH-6)
Thetis Bay (LPH-6)

Main article: Landing platform helicopter

The Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) would be the first ships to operate helicopters for large scale air assault behind beaches. One major defect of the LPH concept was that these ships did not carry landing craft to disembark Marines when weather or hostile anti-aircraft systems grounded helicopters; only Inchon would be modified to carry two landing craft. In such situations the LPH would be reliant on landing craft supplied by other ships, which proved awkward in practice. This defect would drive the design of the Tarawa-class LHA, in effect a LPH with a well deck.[5]

Commencement Bay-class

Iwo Jima-class

Main article: Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship

As the 'definitive' LPH design, the Iwo Jima class would be the only class to be built as such, with sufficient 'hotel' accommodations for the embarked Marines. All other LPH ships would be conversions of aircraft carriers.

After their retirement as amphibious warfare ships, one (Inchon) would be converted to carry minesweeping helicopters as a mine countermeasures support ship (MCS). All of these ships would be scrapped or sunk as targets by 2018.

Essex-class

The following LPH ships were converted Essex-class aircraft carriers, due to budget constraints with the construction of the Iwo Jima class ships.

Casablanca-class

Thetis Bay was converted from a Casablanca-class escort carrier. Under the hull designation CVHA-1, she was the prototype for the LPH concept.

Landing Platform Dock (LPD)

USS Raleigh (LPD-7)
USS Raleigh (LPD-7)
USS Austin (LPD-4)
USS Austin (LPD-4)
USS San Antonio (LPD-17)
USS San Antonio (LPD-17)

Main article: Amphibious transport dock

The Landing Platform Dock (LPD) concept began as a compromise design, an attempt to build a ship with much more capability than a Landing Ship Dock (LSD) - the LPD superficially resembles an LSD with an enlarged flight deck - but without the expense of a LPH. The well deck is smaller than that of an LSD.[6]

Several of these ships were built with space dedicated for command capabilities. Two of these, LaSalle and Coronado, would be redesignated as auxiliary command ships (AGF).

Raleigh-class

Main article: Raleigh-class amphibious transport dock

Austin-class

Main article: Austin-class amphibious transport dock

Cleveland-subclass

Trenton-subclass

San Antonio-class

Main article: San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock

The San Antonio-class were the first LPDs designed to accommodate Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).[7]

Landing Ship Dock (LSD)

USS Ashland (LSD-1)
USS Ashland (LSD-1)
USS Casa Grande (LSD-13)
USS Casa Grande (LSD-13)
USS Thomaston (LSD-28)
USS Thomaston (LSD-28)
USS Anchorage (LSD-36)
USS Anchorage (LSD-36)
USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41)
USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41)
USS Harper's Ferry (LSD-49)
USS Harper's Ferry (LSD-49)

Main article: Dock landing ship

The LSD came as a result of a British requirement during the Second World War for a vessel that could carry large landing craft across the seas at speed. The design was developed and built in the US for the Royal Navy and the US Navy. The first LSDs could carry 36 LCM at 16 knots (30 km/h) in a flooding well deck, the first ships with this capability.

Ashland-class

Main article: Ashland-class dock landing ship

Casa Grande-class

Main article: Casa Grande-class dock landing ship

Thomaston-class

Main article: Thomaston-class dock landing ship

Anchorage-class

Main article: Anchorage-class dock landing ship

Whidbey Island-class

Main article: Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship

The Whidbey Island-class were the first LSDs designed to accommodate Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).[9]

Harpers Ferry-class

Main article: Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship

The Harpers Ferry-class is basically the Whidbey Island-class with more cargo capacity at the expense of a shorter well deck.[11]

Mechanized Artillery Transports (APM)

The APM hull classification was short-lived; it was changed to Landing Ship Dock (LSD).

Amphibious Command Ship (LCC)

USS Mount McKinley (LCC-7)
USS Mount McKinley (LCC-7)
USS Taconic (LCC-17)
USS Taconic (LCC-17)
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)

Further information: Amphibious command ship

All Amphibious Force Flagships (AGC) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Command Ships (LCC), which should not be confused with the World War II era Landing Craft, Control (LCC).

Mount McKinkey-class

Main article: Mount McKinley-class command ship

Adirondack-class

Main article: Adirondack-class command ship

Blue Ridge-class

Main article: Blue Ridge-class command ship

The Blue Ridge-class would be the only amphibious command ships purposely built as such by the US Navy. Their hulls were based on the Iwo Jima-class Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) design due to the need for flat deck space for multiple antennas. After the retirement of the fleet flagships [cruisers] these ships would be pressed into that role despite their lack of speed relative to carrier strike groups.[12]

Amphibious Force Flagship (AGC)

USS Ancon (AGC-4)
USS Ancon (AGC-4)
USS Catoctin (AGC-5)
USS Catoctin (AGC-5)
USS Biscayne (AGC-18)
USS Biscayne (AGC-18)

Further information: Amphibious command ship § World War II

All Amphibious Force Flagships (AGC) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Command Ships (LCC).

Appalachian-class command ship

Troop transport conversion

Coast Guard cutter conversions

Mount McKinley-class command ship

Adirondack-class command ship

Seaplane tender conversion

Presidential yacht (never used as a true AGC)

Amphibious Cargo Ship (LKA)

USS Rankin (LKA-103)
USS Rankin (LKA-103)
USS Tulare (LKA-112)
USS Tulare (LKA-112)
USS Charleston (LKA-113)
USS Charleston (LKA-113)

Main article: Amphibious cargo ship

All Attack Cargo Ships (AKA) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Cargo Ships (LKA).

Arcturus-class

Andromeda-class

Main article: Andromeda-class attack cargo ship

Tolland-class attack cargo ship

Main article: Tolland-class attack cargo ship

Tulare-class

Charleston-class

Main article: Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship

Attack Cargo Ship (AKA)

Main article: Amphibious cargo ship

All Attack Cargo Ships (AKA) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Cargo Ships (LKA).

Amphibious Transport (LPA)

All Attack Transports (APA) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Transports (LPA).

Attack Transport (APA)

Main article: Attack transport

All Attack Transports (APA) in service in 1969 were reclassed as Amphibious Transports (LPA).

Doyen-class

Main article: Doyen-class attack transport

Harris-class

Main article: Harris-class attack transport

McCawley-class

Main article: McCawley-class attack transport

Heywood-class

Main article: Heywood-class attack transport

Harry Lee-class

President Jackson-class

Main article: President Jackson-class attack transport

Crescent City-class

Main article: Crescent City-class attack transport

Joseph Hewes-class

John Penn-class

Edward Rutledge-class

Arthur Middleton-class

Main article: Arthur Middleton-class attack transport

Bayfield-class

Main article: Bayfield-class attack transport

Ormsby-class

Main article: Ormsby-class attack transport

Sumter-class

Main article: Sumter-class attack transport

Windsor-class

Main article: Windsor-class attack transport

Gilliam-class

Main article: Gilliam-class attack transport

Frederick Funston-class

Main article: Frederick Funston-class attack transport

Haskell-class

Main article: Haskell-class attack transport

(* cancelled in 1945)

Paul Revere-class

Main article: Paul Revere-class attack transport

Amphibious Transport, Small (LPR)

USS Kirwin (LPR-90)
USS Kirwin (LPR-90)

Main article: High-speed transport

Fast Amphibious Transports with hull symbol LPR were converted destroyer escorts which had originally received the hull classification symbol APD; as of 1969 the remaining ships were reclassified as LPRs.

Charles Lawrence-class

Crosley-class

Main article: Crosley-class high speed transport

High-speed Transport (APD)

Main article: High-speed transport

High-speed Transports (APD) were converted destroyers and destroyer escorts; they received the US hull classification symbol APD: "AP" for transport and "D" for destroyer. In 1969, the remaining ships were reclassified as "Fast Amphibious Transports" with hull symbol LPR. This classification is not to be confused with hull code "HST", also for "High Speed Transport", currently assigned only to experimental high-speed catamaran designs, and high-speed catamarans chartered from private ferry companies.

Transport Submarine (LPSS)

USS Grayback (LPSS-574)
USS Grayback (LPSS-574)

Main article: List of submarines of the United States Navy

Transport Submarine (APS, ASSP, APSS)

USS Perch (ASSP-313)
USS Perch (ASSP-313)

Main article: List of submarines of the United States Navy

Inshore Fire Support Ship (LFR)

USS Carronade LFS-1
USS Carronade LFS-1

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)

Main article: Landing Craft Air Cushion

Landing Craft, Control (LCC)

Not to be confused with the later Amphibious Command Ship (LCC).

During World War II a number of small boats were built to direct the movements of landing craft as they approached beaches. These were 56 feet in length, displaced 30 tons, and ran 13-16 knots in speed. They were equipped with multiple radios and SO radar (the same radar as on PT boats). During the invasion of southern France they were used to control drone minesweepers.[13]

Landing Craft Infantry (LCI)

The United States Navy built 932 Landing Craft Infantry ships in World War II.

Main article: List of United States Navy Landing Craft Infantry (LCI)

Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM)

The United States Navy built 11,144 landing craft Motorized, designated Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) in World War II.[14]

Main article: Landing Craft Mechanized

Landing Craft Support (Large) (Mark 3), a.k.a. LCS(L)(3)

Main article: Landing Craft Support

Landing Craft Tank (LCT)

The United States Navy built 1,394 landing craft tank, designated Landing Craft Tank (LCT) in World War II. Those that were still in use in 1949 were redesignated as Landing Craft, Utility.

Main article: Landing Craft Tank

Landing Craft Utility (LCU)

The United States Navy built the LCU 1466, 1610 and 1627 classes after World War II.[15]

Main article: Landing Craft Utility § LCU 1466, 1610 and 1627 classes

Landing Ship Medium (LSM)

Towards the end of World War II the United States Navy built 558 Landing Ship Medium (LSM) type vessels across three classes.

Main article: List of United States Navy Landing Ship Medium (LSM)

Landing Ship, Tank (LST)

USS Newport (LST-1179)
USS Newport (LST-1179)

The United States Navy built nearly 1,200 tank landing ships, classified as "Landing Ship, Tank" or "LST", from the World War II-era up through the early 1970s.[16] The 1987 introduction of Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) — which allowed for over-the-horizon amphibious landings onto a far larger number of beaches — made LSTs obsolete, but they remained with the fleet for another decade because they were the only means by which the hundreds of thousands of gallons of motor vehicle fuel needed by a Marine Expeditionary Force could be landed. Only the development of tankers with the Offshore Petroleum Discharge System (OPDS) and the later development of special fuel bladders which gave the LCACs a tanker capability allowed for their retirement.[17]

Main article: List of United States Navy LSTs § By class

Landing Ship, Tank, Hospital (LSTH)

Further information: Landing Ship, Tank (Hospital)

Atlantic Tank Landing Ship (ATL)

The ATL hull classification was short-lived; it was changed to Landing Ship Tank (LST).[18]

Vehicle Landing Ship (LSV)

USS Montauk (LSV-6)
USS Montauk (LSV-6)
USNS Comet (T-AK-269)
USNS Comet (T-AK-269)

The World War II LSVs were converted from cruiser minelayers (CM) and netlayers (AN).[19] After the war most were slated to become mine countermeasures ships (MCS), but only two were actually converted.

The post-WW2 LSVs were among the first roll-on/roll-off cargo ships.[20]

Patrol Craft, Control (PCC)

USS PC-598
USS PC-598

Thirty-five submarine chasers were converted into amphibious landing control vessel during World War II and reclassified as Patrol Craft, Control after the war. Extra personnel (eight radiomen, two signalmen, one quartermaster and two communications officers), accommodations and improved radar and communications equipment were added. PCs proved exceptionally adept as Control Vessels, guiding waves of landing craft during numerous amphibious landings in the European and Pacific Theaters.[21]

Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF)

USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1)
USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1)

Main article: Expeditionary fast transport

Spearhead-class

Main article: Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport

Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB)

USS Lewis B. Puller ESB-3
USS Lewis B. Puller ESB-3

Main article: Expeditionary Transfer Dock § Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB) variants

Lewis B. Puller-class

Main article: Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary mobile base

Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD)

USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1)
USNS Montford Point (T-ESD-1)

Main article: Expeditionary Transfer Dock

Montford Point-class

Main article: Montford Point-class expeditionary transfer dock

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

Main article: Littoral Combat Ship

Further information: Littoral Combat Ship § Irregular warfare and amphibious modules

Freedom-class

Main article: Freedom-class littoral combat ship

Independence-class

Main article: Independence-class littoral combat ship

Barracks Ships

Barracks ships are auxiliaries that are used in a variety of roles, not only for amphibious warfare.

Self-Propelled Barracks Ship (APB)

Main article: List of auxiliaries of the United States Navy § Self-Propelled Barracks Ships (APB)

Non Self-Propelled Barracks Ship (APL)

Main article: List of auxiliaries of the United States Navy § Barracks Craft (APL)

Offshore Petroleum Distribution System (OPDS) ships

USNS Vice Adm. K. R. Wheeler (T-AG-5001)
USNS Vice Adm. K. R. Wheeler (T-AG-5001)
SS Chesapeake (AOT-5084)
SS Chesapeake (AOT-5084)

OPDS ships support amphibious operations by pumping needed fuel ashore without the need for port facilities. They do not have unique hull classification symbols.

Pump vessels

Tankers

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "U.S. Navy Program Guide 2013" (PDF). United States Navy. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. See pages 101–102
  2. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 370-372
  3. ^ Jean, Grace V. (September 2008). "Marines Question the Utility of Their New Amphibious Warship". National Defense Magazine. National Defense Industrial Association. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010.
  4. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 448-449
  5. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 357-358, 370-372
  6. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 364-365
  7. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 458-463
  8. ^ LaGrone, Sam (July 2022). "Navy Commissions Amphibious Warship USS Fort Lauderdale". USNI News. United States Naval Institute.
  9. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 440-442
  10. ^ Mongilio, Heather (July 2022). "Navy Decommissions USS Whidbey Island". USNI News. United States Naval Institute.
  11. ^ Friedman, 2002, p 448
  12. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 428-431
  13. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 278-283
  14. ^ Colton, Tim. "WWII Construction Records, Landing Craft". Colton Company. Archived from the original on June 22, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  15. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 390
  16. ^ Priolo, Gary P. (2005). "Tank Landing Ship (LST) Index". NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  17. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 339–344
  18. ^ Friedman, 2002, p 117
  19. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 178-182
  20. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 468-470
  21. ^ "PC World War II Service". Patrol Craft Sailor Association.

Sources