Year Built
Official Number
Ship Yard
Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation
General Type
Specific Type
Ship Length
510.0 feet
84.00 feet
Mast Height
Net Tons
6770 tons
Gross Tons
11956 tons
Cargo Capacity
Draft, Summer
19.50 tons
Draft, Lightweight
19.5 tons
Displacement, Summer
Displacement, Lightweight
6075 tons
Immersion, Summer
Immersion, Lightweight

Historical Narrative

Classified as a Landing Ship Dock by the U.S. Navy, USS Point Defiance is named after a park in Tacoma, Washington, and is the fourth ship of the eight-ship Thomaston- class. Point Defiance was constructed by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Mississippi, and commissioned on March 31, 1955. 

Following shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship steamed to Long Beach, California, to join the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Amphibious Squadron 7.  Point Defiance was very active in the Pacific in the years leading to and during the Vietnam War.  The ship completed its last tour of duty in Vietnamese waters in 1973. 

A notable highlight in the ship’s career occurred in 1963 when it transported the bathyscaphe Trieste (a deep-diving research submarine) from San Diego through the Panama Canal to Boston for deep search operations into the cause of the loss of the nuclear submarine Thresher

Decommissioned on September 30, 1983, Point Defiance entered Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet on August 12, 1991 and was stricken from the Naval Register on February 24, 1992. On September 29, 1995, the ship was sold for scrap; however, the Navy repossessed the ship from the scrap company in July 1997 and returned it to Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in August 1998.

The vessel was sold for dismantlement on September 7, 2011. 

USS Point Defiance earned 10 campaign stars for its Vietnam War service

Naval History and Heritage Command Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for USS Point Defiance.


No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents

No documents for this vessel


Event: Entry
Date: 8/12/1991

Laid up as a US Navy non-retention asset
Event: Withdrawal
Date: 2/12/1996

Sold to Pegasus, Inc. Sale later failed.
Event: Entry
Date: 8/18/1998

Re-entered SBRF following failed scrap sale.
Event: Acquisition
Date: 12/1/1999

MARAD acquired title to vessel
Event: NHPA Cleared for Disposal
Date: 2/23/2007

Vessel cleared NHPA processing on February 23rd.
Event: Withdrawal
Date: 9/7/2011

Vessel departed under domestic sale contract with All Star Metals.

Ship Imagery

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Status Cards

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No documents for this vessel


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel