USS Whidbey Island to Visit Gloucester



Please note– visiting hours have been changed

Navy Office of Community Outreach – Boston
MEDIA RELEASE
Point of Contact: LT Paul Brawley, Public Affairs Officer Ph: 860-514-3877

USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) to arrive in Gloucester, MA, for St. Peter’s Fiesta

The amphibious assault ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) will be arriving in Gloucester on Wednesday, June 25th for the 81st Annual St. Peter’s Fiesta. The ship is commanded by Commander Michael Junge. Commander, Amphibious Squadron 2, Captain Peter Fanta will also be on board.

St. Peter’s Fiesta is sponsored by the Italian-American fishing community of Gloucester carrying on the customs practiced in some communities in Italy of paying homage to St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. (For more information visit: www.stpetersfiesta.org)

While in port Whidbey Island will host free public visiting on Wednesday from 1-8 p.m.; Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. No reservations will be accepted for the ship tours which will leave from the Harbor Cove Dockage Facility, located on Rogers Street (RT 127) in the center of downtown Gloucester. The facility is located on the waterfront between the Gloucester House Restaurant and the Building Center (BC) Store. No parking is available.

All visitors to the ship will be screened and are subject to search. No weapons, bags of any kind, or drinking containers will be allowed. Small purses and cameras will be permitted.

The ship is not handicapped accessible. Due to the number of steep ladders required to tour the ship and because of her limited emergency medical capabilities, people with heart conditions, breathing difficulties or other medical conditions will not be permitted to board.

The ship’s color guard will participate present the colors at the Red Sox-Arizona Diamondback’s game on Thursday and at Fiesta’s opening ceremony Thursday evening. On Friday morning, sailors will paint the Major Fred W. Ritvo Veterans Center on Emerson Avenue. On Saturday at 10 a.m., they will participate in the Seine Boat Race against the U.S. Coast Guard Station-Gloucester.

Homeported at the amphibious base in Little Creek, VA, USS Whidbey Island was built by Lockheed Shipbuilding in Seattle and was commissioned on February 2, 1985. She is 609 feet long and 84 feet wide and weighs nearly 16,000 tons when fully loaded with more than 500 Marines and their equipment. The crew consists of 22 officers and 391 enlisted personnel.

The first in her class of Dock Landing Ships, USS Whidbey Island, supports amphibious operations including landings via Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), conventional landing craft and helicopters, onto hostile shores. These ships transport and launch amphibious craft and vehicles with their crews and embarked personnel in amphibious assault operations.

LSD 41 was designed specifically to operate LCAC vessels. It has the largest capacity for these landing craft (four) of any U.S. Navy amphibious platform. It also provides docking and repair services for LCACs and for conventional landing craft.

For more information about USS Whidbey Island, visit the ship’s Web site at www.whidbey-island.navy.mil/.