Portland Set to Decommission

Monday, August 04, 2003
From Naval Surface Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs The amphibious dock landing ship USS Portland (LSD 37) will be decommissioned during a ceremony, 10 a.m., August 4, 2003, at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va. The past year produced some memorable moments for the 32-year-old ship, under the command of Cmdr. Lawrence Creevy. In January, 2003, just 30 days after returning from a four-month UNITAS deployment, Portland deployed as part of the seven-ship Amphibious Task Force East to support Operation Enduring Freedom and, subsequently, Operation Iraqi Freedom. The task force, affectionately known as the "Magnificent Seven" was the largest amphibious surge force assembled in over a decade, carrying approximately 5,000 Sailors, 7,000 Marines and tons of heavy equipment and aircraft. LSD 37 was the second naval ship to bear the name Portland. The first USS Portland (CA 33), a heavy cruiser, was commissioned in 1933 and operated extensively in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Portland, with its nine 8-inch guns, was the largest gunship in the region until late 1942. Although often outgunned by the Japanese fleet and severely damaged by a torpedo in the Battle of Guadalcanal, she participated in almost every major naval engagement and survived the duration of the war. While operating in the Pacific Theater, Portland was credited with sinking two destroyers, shooting down more than a dozen airplanes and assisting in the sinking of three battleships. It was also responsible for the sinking of a Japanese submarine.

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