Farewell Iron Nickel!
The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet ceremoniously disembarked the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) for the final time during the ship’s decommissioning ceremony at Naval Base San Diego, March 31.
USS Peleliu, or the “Iron Nickel”, was named after the Battle of Peleliu which took place from Sept. 15 to Nov. 27, 1944 in which 1,256 Marines gave their lives to take the island which was being held by the Imperial Japanese Army.
During 34 years of service, Peleliu was homeported in both Long Beach and San Diego on the California coast as thousands of Sailors and Marines called the ship home. Capable of launching a coordinated air and sea attack from one platform, Peleliu conducted 17 deployments, 178,051 flight operations, served 57,983 personnel and steamed approximately 1,011,946 nautical miles since being commissioned May 3, 1980 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
After the decommissioning process is complete, Peleliu will be towed from San Diego to Hawaii to join the Navy’s reserve fleet. There, the last of its class amphibious assault ship will take its place alongside its sister ship and first in class, the ex-USS Tarawa (LHA 1).
Image: US Navy