Ship's Coat of Arms

COAT OF aRMSDark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the United States Navy. The red, white, and blue shield reflects the national colors and suggests the coat of arms of the United States. The six red stripes represent the ship's hull number as well as the six coins placed beneath the mast during mast stepping; red being the color of valor and sacrifice. The gold fleur-de-lis highlights the heritage of the first ship BONHOMME RICHARD. The King of France gave an armed ship to the American cause in 1779 which was placed under the command of John Paul Jones. Jones wanted a name with meaning for Americans and French alike, so he selected the pen name of Ben Franklin (then the U.S. Ambassador to France), and named the ship BONHOMME RICHARD in his honor. With this ship, John Paul Jones went on to defeat the British warship SERAPIS in one of the most famous sea battles in American history. The wreath of two green laurel branches symbolizes honor and high achievment commemorating the two previous ships carrying the name BONHOMME RICHARD. The eagle, overlooking the fleur-de-lis, adapted from historic flags and documents of the Revolutionary era, symbolizes the fighting spirit, patriotic fervor, and tenacity of both John Paul Jones and the United States Navy. The eagle is flanked by six gold stars representing the battle stars earned by the second BON HOMME RICHARD during World War II and the Korean War underscoring the heritage and continuing resolve of the fighting Navy. The chief is blue with a wavy edge suggesting a shoreline and reflecting the amphibious mission of the BONHOMME RICHARD.

The trident is emblematic of sea prowess and power from the sea; It has wings to commemorate the second BON HOMME RICHARD, an aircraft carrier and the three tines further represent the three areas of that ships sea battle service: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The trident is scarlet, a color traditionally used by the United States Marine Corps, and highlights action and zeal thus underscoring the ship's assault and battle insertion mission combining the land, sea, and air elements of the fighting force. The trident, synergistically combined with the crossed U.S. Navy and Marine swords, symbolizes combat readiness and teamwork highlighting the current LHD's potent amphibious and heliborne assault capabilities in the deployment of forces ashore.

USS Bonhomme Richard Facts


Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula , Miss.
Location: Pensacola, FL
Commissioned: 15 AUG 1998
Power Plant: Two boilers, two geared steam turbines, two shafts, 70,000 shaft horsepower
Length: 844 feet (253.2 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (31.8 meters)
Displacement: Approx. 40,500 tons (41,150 metric tons) full load
Speed: 20+ knots (23.5+ miles per hour)


Two RAM launchers; two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers; two 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts; four .50 cal. machine guns; three 25 mm Mk 38 machine guns.


Assault: 4 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Sea Control: 5 AV-8B Harrier attack planes. 6 ASW helicopters


Ships Company: 104 officers, 1,004 enlisted
Marine Detachment: 1,894

Sister Ships

USS Wasp (LHD 1), Norfolk, Va.
USS Essex (LHD 2), Sasebo, Japan
USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Norfolk, Va.
USS Boxer (LHD 4), San Diego, Calif.
USS Bataan (LHD 5), Norfolk, Va.
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), Norfolk , Va.
USS Makin Island (LHD 8), San Diego, Calif.