A BRIEF HISTORY OF USS BON HOMME RICHARD
USS Bon Homme Richard was launched in April of 1944 and joined the Pacific fleet in March 1945. She played an active role in the final months of World War II. After the war, the Bon Homme Richard was engaged in bringing troops, equipment and supplies back home in what was known as Operation Magic Carpet.
Upon completion of World War II and the "Magic Carpet" duty, during which she had steamed 92,245 miles and conducted a total of 7,856 aircraft landings, the Bon Homme Richard was decommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton on July 31, 1946.
On January 15, 1951 The Bon Homme Richard was reactivated and commissioned to participate in the Korean War. She reported for duty on Feb. 23, 1951 launching her planes against enemy targets in Korea until the deployment ended late in the year. A second combat tour followed in May–December 1952, highlighted by large-scale joint service air attacks on Sui-ho dam and Pyongyang which was the collective name for a series of attacks on thirteen hydroelectric facilities that took place June 23-24, 1952. Following the Korean War, the Bon Homme Richard was decommissioned.
The Bon Homme Richard was Recommissioned again on September 6, 1955 as a CVA. After an extensive 30 month overhall, she now had an angled and strengthened flight deck, enclosed "hurricane" bow, steam catapults, a new island structure, wider beam and many other improvements. She began a long series of 7th fleet deployments during the Cold War period and Viet Nam War.
The Viet Nam war brought her into a third armed conflict and she deployed on five Southeast Asia combat tours over the next six years. Her aircraft battled North Vietnamese MiGs on many occasions, downing several, as well as striking transportation and infrastructure targets. During the 1967 deployment her air wing destroyed 9 Mig fighters in the air, more than all the other carriers combined on all deployments up to that time. The Bon Homme Richard was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her 1967 deployment to Viet Nam.
Following her 1970 deployment the Bon Homme Richard was ordered inactivated. She was decommissioned on 2 July 1971, becoming part of the Reserve Fleet at Bremerton Washington. Following 20 years in mothballs, she was scrapped in 1992 at Southwest Marine's yard in San Pedro, California.
USS Bon Homme Richard was one of our Navy's most decorated ships and the only aircraft carrier to serve in three of our nations wars. World War II, Korean War & Viet Nam War.