USS New York (LPD-21)

The newest entry into the San Antonio Class LPD (Landing Platform Dock), the USS New York is one of three new amphibious assault ships named after locations in three states where the 9/11 attacks occurred.  The ship’s keel was laid in August 2004 with the ship being christened in Northrop Grumman’s Louisiana shipyard in March 2008 with the official US Navy commissioning held on November 7th, 2009 while berthed in New York City during a visit to the Intrepid Sea & Air Museum. An interesting fact about the ship is that when Hurricane Katrina struck the area in 2005, 1,200 shipyard workers opted to stay aboard & continue the construction process.

Weighing in at 24,900 tons, the ship measures 684’ long, is powered by four turbocharged diesel engines driving two shafts at 41,600 horsepower and can achieve speeds in excess of 22 knots (24.2 MPH). Designed to operate as an amphibious dock for ground & air assault forces, the USS New York is capable of carrying three different types of helicopters, the Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, two air cushioned landing craft and over two dozen Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles.

The USS New York is assigned a crew of 360 sailors, consisting of 28 officers, 332 enlisted and 3 Marines. When operating with an embarked landing force, crew capacity increases to 699 Marines (800 at surge capacity) including 69 officers and 663 enlisted personnel.

A key feature of the USS New York is her bow stern which was constructed of 7.5 tons of steel recovered from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center hence the ship’s motto “Strength forged through sacrifice, Never forget”.

The crest of the USS New York has considerable significance to the ship’s namesake including:

  1. Seven rays of sunlight signify the crown atop the Statue of          Liberty & the seven seas.

  2. Central focus is placed on the Twin Towers and the bow of the ship which is forged with WTC steel.

  3. Breastplate of the phoenix bears the colors of first responders from the FDNY, NYPD & PAPD.

  4. Blood drops represent the fallen.

  5. Three stars for those earned by the battleship USS New York in World War II in Iwo Jima, Okinawa & North Africa.

The USS New York maintains an onboard museum loaded with artifacts of 9/11 and tokens of appreciation from various agencies (FDNY, NYPD) to show New York’s support of the ship, the crew & its’ mission in protecting all Americans.

Visitors to the USS New York while on display in New York City were welcomed by the National 9/11 Flag. This 30 foot American flag was destroyed by falling debris on 9/11 as the World Trade Center collapsed.

On the 7th anniversary of 9/11 in 2008, residents of Greensburg, Kansas, a town 95% destroyed by an F-5 tornado stitched the flag back together using flags salvaged from the Greensburg tornado. The ongoing restoration & display of the National 9/11 Flag is supported by The New York Says Thank You Foundation.

The group’s mission is to send volunteers each year on the 9/11 anniversary to help rebuild communities across America recovering from disaster in an effort to say “thank you” for all the love & support extended to New Yorkers in the days, weeks and months following the 9/11 tragedy.

The goal of the organization is to provide this support through the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy as a testament to the compassion & resilience of the American people in the face of adversity.

“From one day of terror, 10 years of Kindness”

Copyright 2009 Tom Rinelli

Special thanks to USS New York crew member Richie Doucette for providing updated specs on this vessel.