USS Okinawa LPH-3



Spacecraft Recovery
    7 August 1971: Apollo 15

General Characteristics:
    Awarded: October 24, 1958
    Keel laid: April 1, 1960
    Launched: August 19, 1961
    Commissioned: April 14, 1962
    Decommissioned: December 17, 1992
    Builder: Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Penn.
    Propulsion system: Two boilers, one geared steam turbines, one shaft, 22,000 total shaft horsepower
    Propellers: one
    Length: 603, 65 feet (184 meters)
    Beam: 104 feet (31.7 meters)
    Draft: 25,9 feet (7.9 meters)
    Aircraft elevators: two
    Displacement: approx. 19,500 tons full load
    Speed: 23 knots
    Aircraft: 20 UH-46D Sea Knight Helicopters, 10 MH-53E Sea Stallion Helicopters, 3 UH-1 Helicopters, 3 AH-1 Helicopters but the actual mix depends upon mission
    Armament: two Phalanx CIWS
    Crew: 80 officers, 638 enlisted, 1,750 Marine Detachment

More information on USS Okinawa from the United States Navy.

USS OKINAWA, which served the US Navy for over 30 years, was put to rest off the coast of Southern California as part of a COMSUBPAC ship sinking exercise (SINKEX) on 6 June 2002. The ship was sunk by a NUWC Keyport-built MK-48 Mod 5 ADCAP torpedo fired by USS PORTSMOUTH (SSN 707). Decommissioned in December 1992, the OKINAWA had resided at the Suisan Bay Reserve Fleet in Benecia, CA before being transferred to Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility in Bremerton in August 2000 for SINKEX preparation.

Though the ADCAP torpedo was the weapon that ultimately sank the OKINAWA, it wasn't the only ordnance employed against her that day. Prior to the warshot firing, naval air training operations were conducted involving several Maverick and Harpoon missile firings as well as a number of general-purpose bomb drops. Though the OKINAWA did sustain some minor damage during the air exercises, there was never any sign of her going down prematurely. After the actual torpedo detonation, the OKINAWA, due to its large size and watertight condition, listed increasingly for almost four hours before ultimately descending below the surface.