The USS Ogden was the second ship that held this name in the US Naval Fleet. She was an Austin-class amphibious transport dock vessel. The USS Ogden was laid down on February 4, 1963 by the New York Navy Shipyard. Her launch was on June 27, 1964, and she was sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence J Burton. She was commissioned at New York on June 19, 1965. Captain Floyd M Symons was in command.
The homeport for the USS Ogden was San Diego, California. Her nickname was “Oggie Doggie”. The displacement of the Ogden was 9,962 tons and 17,370 tons full. She had a length of 569 feet, with a beam of 108 feet and a draft of 22 ft. The motto of the USS Ogden was “Flexible Response”. Her propulsion was two Babcock Wilcox 600 psi boilers and two steam turbines. Her maximum speed was 21 knots. The complement of the Ogden was 24 officers, 396 enlisted men, and 900 Marines.
Action in the Vietnam War
The USS Ogden was trained off of the coast of Norfolk. On 29 October 1965 she arrived in San Diego to join the Pacific Fleet and to complete her training program. During her first year of service, the USS Ogden was deployed to South Vietnam two times, first on February 8 to April 4 of 1966, then on May 16 to July 7 of 1966. Her duties there were to bring Marines and equipment to Vietnam. On her return voyages she brought damaged vehicles home for repair.
In the summer of 1966, she participated in experiments with aircraft that had the ability to perform vertical or short landings and takeoffs. The USS Ogden participated in Operation Endsweep off of Haiphong Harbor as a member of Task Force 78. This occurred between January 1973 and July 1973. Her duties as part of the Task Force were to aid Marine Helicopters in clearing mines.
After the War
The USS Ogden took damage on February 27, 2002 when she collided with the submarine the USS Greenville. This collision opened a 5″ by 18″ hole in her fuel tanks. After repairs, she was commissioned as part of the 3rd Fleet in 2006 and was deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of a battle group. She was scheduled for decommission in 2000, but because of the requirements of Operation Iraqi Freedom, this was put off until 2007. The Ogden was awarded with the 2006 Battle E Award.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.