August 15, 1965: The christening of the USS Duluth

On this day in 1965, the USS Duluth was christened in New York’s Brooklyn Naval Yard by Nancy Solomonson, the daughter of the Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Also on hand were Senator Walter Mondale, Representative John A. Blatnik, and Duluth Mayor George D. Johnson. The Duluth, an amphibious transport vessel, was one of the last vessels christened at the Brooklyn Ship Yards, which closed the following June. The Duluth was commissioned in December 1965 and sailed to her home port in San Diego and served the Amphibious Ready Group of the U. S. Seventh Fleet during the Viet Nam War. According to the Department of Defense, in 1975 the Duluth participated in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon, Vietnam. “On April 29 fourteen South Vietnamese, U. S. Marine and Air America helicopters landed aboard the Duluth delivering over 900 refugees to Duluth alone, including the Italian ambassador. The following day another 1,391 refugees arrived, forcing Duluth‘s crew to jettison three helicopters over the side to make room for more arriving helicopters.” After an illustrious forty-year career, the Duluth was decommissioned in December 2005 and scrapped in 2014.

The Austin-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Duluth (LPD 6), underway off the coast of San Diego, Calif., February 11, 2004. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Rebecca J. Moat)