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USS ASHLAND (LSD-48) COMMISSIONED 9 MAY 1992 16 YEARS OF NAVAL SERVICE ASHLAND History Ashland is the eighth and last ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41) Class Ships. Ashland is the second ship to bear the name. The Keel was laid on 4 April 1988 at New Orleans, LA.


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9 MAY 1992


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  • Ashland is the eighth and last ship of the WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41) Class Ships.

  • Ashland is the second ship to bear the name.

  • The Keel was laid on 4 April 1988 at New Orleans, LA.

  • Launching and Christening took place on 11 November 1989.

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  • ASHLAND takes its name from the Lexington, Kentucky, estate of Henry Clay.

  • Ashland was his home from 1809 until his death in 1852.

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  • Commissioned - 5 June 1943

  • Decommissioned - March 1946

  • Commissioned - 27 December 1950

  • Decommissioned - 14 September 1957

  • Commissioned - 29 November 1961

  • Decommissioned - 22 November 1969

  • Struck and sold for scrap – May 1970

  • First Dock Landing Ship in the Fleet

  • First Ship named after Henry Clay Estate, Ashland

  • Built in Oakland, California when keel was laid on 22 June 1942.

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More LSD 1 History

  • After commissioning on 5 June 1943 ASHLAND was sent out for sea trials. Following two months of sea trials, the dock landing ship loaded amphibious craft and personnel at San Diego, CA, and then headed out to sea. Over the course of the next two and a half years, from 11 August 1943 until January 1946, USS ASHLAND (LSD 1) took part in several amphibious exercises and assaults throughout the Western Pacific serving as a troop transport and small boat repair ship. On 23 January 1944 she sortied with Task Force 52 for the assault on the Marshall Islands. ASHLAND was directly involved in the assaults on Kwajalein Island and Eniwotok and several of the other small islands which would soon become major supply and fuel depots for friendly forces.

  • In the fall of 1944, ASHLAND was assigned to Task Force 79 and prepared for the invasion of the Philippines where she took part in the assaults against Leyte and Luzon. The following year she launched her boats against Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945.

  • She went on to flex her power in many more exercises and assaults until her final decommissioning on 22 November 1969.

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HENRY CLAY AN AMERICAN PIONEER(April 12, 1777 – June 29, 1852) was a nineteenth-century American statesman and orator who represented Kentucky in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He was a dominant figure in both the First Party System to 1824, and the Second Party System after that. Known as "The Great Compromiser" and "The Great Pacifier" for his ability to bring others to agreement, he was the founder and leader of the Whig Party and a leading advocate of programs for modernizing the economy, especially tariffs to protect industry, a national bank, and internal improvements to promote canals, ports and railroads. He was a leading War Hawk and, according to historianClement Eaton, was "more than any other individual" responsible for the War of 1812. Clay made an immediate impact in his first congressional term, including becoming Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Clay was also called "Henry of the West" and "The Western Star."

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The Lafayette class submarineUSS Henry Clay (SSBN-625) remains the only ship of the United States Navy named in his honor.

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  • Clay's Lexington home for many years was his farm and mansion, Ashland, named for the many ash trees on the property.

  • Rebuilt and remodeled by his heirs, Ashland is now a museum.

  • Ashland Ave. in Chicago, Illinois was named after his estate.

  • The town of Ashland, Virginia located in the county of Clay's birth, Ashland County, Ohio and Ashland County, Wisconsin were named for his estate, as were the cities of Ashland, Kentucky, Ashland, Alabama, and Ashland, Pennsylvania.

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  • SHIELD: Red, White, & Blue are our National colors. Dark Blue and gold symbolize the sea of excellence. The stars commemorate the SEVEN battle stars awarded for WWII service of the previous ASHLAND. The wavy division of the shield highlights the shoreline while the chevron simulates the prow of a ship, alluding to the LSD’s theater of operations and amphibious mission of delivering forces ashore. The pale vertical bar suggests the numeral “I,” honoring the previous ASHLAND’s historic role as the first ship in the LSD class. The Mameluke, together with the gold palm on the red background suggest the Marine force and underscores cooperation and military preparedness.

  • CREST: The bald eagle symbolizes the distinguished American Statesman Henry Clay and his vital magisterial role in both the United States Congress and the development of our country. LSD 48 is named in honor of Ashland, the Kentucky estate of Henry Clay. Our national bird embodies the tenets of liberty and freedom with majesty and strength. The wreath of laurel conveys honor and achievement.

  • MOTTO: “Deliver Liberty, Defend Freedom” exemplifies the spirit and the strength of character of the Honorable Henry Clay. It clearly illustrates the mission and capabilities of the combined Navy/Marine Corps team for which the ship was designed. It epitomizes the strength, drive, and courage that has made our country the proud nation it is today.

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