Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) hosted a ceremony to celebrate their ship’s birthday along with the Navy’s birthday aboard Essex at her homeport in San Diego, Oct. 17, 2023.
Essex, commissioned Oct. 17, 1992, turned 31 within days of the U.S. Navy’s 248th birthday on October 13th. Sailors assigned to the ship and the triad attended the ceremony.
“There has been an Essex in service for over 130 of the Navy’s 248 years,” said Capt. Wayne Liebold, commanding officer of Essex. “I have no doubt that there will continue to be an Essex long after we decommission this ship. There will be another Essex to come to follow both the legacy of all those that continue to serve, and the legacy of this ship that goes back to 1799.”
During the ceremony, Capt. Liebold recounted the history of Essex and the four ships that bore the name before LHD 2. The first USS Essex was commissioned in 1799 and served in the war of 1812. The second Essex served in the civil war, and the third one served in the Spanish-American war. The fourth Essex served in WWII, earning nine battle stars. It later earned four additional battle stars in Korea, and even recovered astronauts returning from the Moon.
The fifth ship to bear the name ‘Essex’ is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship commissioned in San Diego in 1992 with the motto ‘Second to none’, as a play on the hull number ‘LHD 2’. The motto was later replaced with, “Take Notice” as an allusion to the first U.S. ship to bear the namesake. Essex history states that a shipbuilder in Massachusetts posted in the Salem Gazette in 1798 requesting citizens to donate their own timber so that he could build a ship to combat piracy.
The ad said, “Take Notice! Ye sons of freedom! Step forth and give your assistance… maintain your rights upon the seas and make the name of America respected among the nations of the world!”
While the first Essex was a small frigate built from wood donations, LHD 2 is a well-respected 44,000 ton steel warship with some of the most advanced technology and weapons systems on the waterfront.
In September of this year, Essex left dry dock after 12 months of dry docking selected restricted availability (DSRA). During the DSRA period, Sailors and contractors worked to upgrade and refurbish many key systems aboard, including the ship’s hull, propulsion systems, weapons, and communication systems.
She is still in a maintenance period to continue repairing and modernizing the 31-year-old steam ship to make it more seaworthy, survivable, and lethal than ever.
“We will continue to represent the fighting spirit of Essex now and for years to come,” said Liebold. “Happy birthday to Essex, happy birthday to you, let’s continue to serve with honor and commitment to our cause.”
Essex is homeported in San Diego.
|Date Posted:||10.19.2023 12:19|
|Location:||SAN DIEGO, CA, US|