USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8) General Characteristics -
- Type: Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock
- Constructed by: Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation, Pascagoula, MS
- Keel laid: January 25, 1965
- Launched: August 6, 1966
- Commissioned: September 1, 1967
- Length: 569 feet (173.4 meters)
- Beam: 105 feet (32 meters)
- Draft (standard): 21 feet (7 meters)
- Draft (ballasted): 34 feet (10.4 meters)
- Displacement (full load): 16,500 tons
- Propulsion system: Two 600psi Foster-Wheeler boilers, two Delaval steam turbines, two shafts
- Shaft horsepower: 24,000 per shaft
- Speed (maximum): 21 knots
- Armament: Two 25mm Mk 38 chain guns, two 20mm Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS, eight .50-calibre machine guns
- Crew: 24 officers, 396 enlisted, 840 marine troops, 90 flag/staff personnel
- Cargo Capacity: 2,500 tons
- Well deck: 7,000 sq. feet
- Well deck capacity: One LCU, or one LCAC, or two LCM-8, or four LCM-6
- Helicopter landing capacity: Two CH-46/CH-53 equivalents, or four UH-1/AH-1 equivalents, or two AV-8B Harriers
- Vehicle stowage: 14,000 sq. feet
- Aircraft stowage: 14,700 sq. feet
- Weapons ordnance stowage: 53,300 cu. feet
USS DUBUQUE is named after Dubuque, Iowa on the Mississippi River and her founder, Julien Dubuque - a French Canadian explorer. The second ship to bear the name, USS Dubuque was commissioned on September 1st, 1967 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.
In November 1967, the ship arrived at its first homeport of San Diego, California after transiting the Panama Canal. From 1968 until 1975, USS DUBUQUE made five Western Pacific deployments that saw extensive duty in Vietnam. In a highly publicized event in October 1968, the ship returned 14 repatriated prisoners of war to North Vietnam. From 1969 until 1971 the ship conducted ten Keystone Cardinal troop lifts to Okinawa, Japan as part of the "Vietnamization" of the war. From February to June of 1973 the ship operated helicopters that conducted mine clearance operations in Haiphong Harbor. In April 1975 the ship participated in the evacuation of Saigon and the rescue of refugees fleeing South Vietnam.
On 15 August 1985 USS DUBUQUE departed San Diego for its new homeport of Sasebo, Japan. The ship arrived in Sasebo on September 4th, 1985 to join the U.S. Seventh Fleet Overseas Family Residency Program. Since joining the Seventh Fleet, the primary mission of the ship was to support the U.S. Marines stationed in the Western Pacific.
In May 1988 USS DUBUQUE deployed to the Arabian Gulf and served as the control ship for mine sweeping operations to protect U.S. flagged tankers during the Iran-Iraq War. For its praticipation in this operation the ship was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation. In 1989 the ship participated in the contingency operation to evacuate U.S. personnel from the Philippines during a failed coup attempt.
Immediately following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, USS DUBUQUE received tasking in the Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The ship functioned as the leading element of Amphibious Ready Group Bravo, which transported Marine Regimental Landing Team Four to Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia during the critical early stages of the multi-national build up.
In 1992 USS DUBUQUE celebrated 25 years of distinguished service. From June to September of 1999 USS DUBUQUE participated in the first Ship-Swap with USS JUNEAU (LPD 10), where each ship's crew remained in their original home ports, allowing USS DUBUQUE to return to the homeport of San Diego, CA. It has received three Battle Efficiency Awards and participated in countless amphibious exercises and operations throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. That the ship is still in magnificent condition is a tribute to the long line of sailors who have served onboard in the past quarter century.
Currently, after two valiant deployments to the Arabian Gulf in the latest "War on Terrorism" conflict, USS DUBUQUE is again being refurbished to continue in her mission for another decade.