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
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
Portland (CA 33), a heavy cruiser, was commissioned in 1933 and operated
extensively in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the
Pearl Harbor, Portland, with its nine 8-inch guns, was the largest
in the region until late 1942. Although often outgunned by the Japanese
fleet and severely damaged by a torpedo in the Battle of Guadalcanal,
participated in almost every major naval engagement and survived the
duration of the war. While operating in the Pacific Theater, Portland
credited with sinking two destroyers, shooting down more than a dozen
airplanes and assisting in the sinking of three battleships. It was
responsible for the sinking of a Japanese submarine.