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USS Tripoli (LHA 7)




USS Tripoli


SHIELD: Azure (Dark Blue), a pall inverted Gules, fimbriated Or between in dexter chief a sun in glory above a pictorial of sand dunes, all Proper, in sinister a demi-trident with the center tine as a lightning bolt of the third, and in base three bars wavy Celeste fimbriated Argent (Silver Gray) surmounted by a magnolia flower Proper; all within a diminished bordure of the third.

CREST: From a wreath Or and Azure (Dark Blue), three anchors Argent (Silver Gray) below a pair of Kentucky long rifles in saltire Proper, between five plates bendwise and five plates bendwise sinister; overall an eagle, wings inverted, Proper bearing the arms of the United States perched upon an arrow fasces fesswise Or to sinister, interlaced with an olive wreath Vert.

MOTTO: A tri-partite scroll Azure doubled Or inscribed “IN ÆRE TERRAM MARIQUE” Or. SUPPORTERS: Behind the shield, a USN Officer sword in dexter chief, a USMC Officer Mameluke sword in sinister chief, a USN cutlass in dexter base, and a USMC NCO sword in sinister base saltirewise points downward, all Proper.


SHIELD: The colors of the shield--dark blue, red and gold--are associated with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. These specific colors represent both the current crew as well as the Marines and Sailors who fought in the Battle of Derne at Tripoli. The inverted pall partitions the shield into thirds, signifying LHA 7 as the third ship to bear the name USS TRIPOLI. The sun in glory above sand dunes depicts the 600-mile desert journey from Alexandria, Egypt to Derne, Tripoli led by General William Eaton, USA, and First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon, USMC. The trident, featuring a lightning bolt, depicts the three prongs of USS TRIPOLI’s capabilities--air, land and sea. The lightning bolt also represents the F-35B “Lightning II” which USS TRIPOLI can fully support. The three bars wavy represent USS TRIPOLI’s ability to navigate across the oceans in defense of our national interests. The magnolia flower pays homage to the State of Mississippi, where USS TRIPOLI was built. All three venues--land, air and sea--are referenced in the shield to reflect and reinforce the ship’s motto.

CREST: The three anchors represent the USS ARGUS, USS HORNET and USS NAUTILUS that provided necessary support, supplies and money to Eaton and O’Bannon along the trek to Tripoli. Additionally, the ships aided Eaton and O’Bannon during the battle with cannon fire upon the enemy’s strongholds. The two Kentucky long rifles are in honor of O’Bannon serving in the Kentucky State Legislature and Senate after his military career as well as denoting his final resting place. Further, the rifles are angled to signify O’Bannon as the first person to raise the American flag in victory on foreign soil. The ten musket balls pay homage to the eight Marines and two Sailors who were engaged in the Battle of Derna. The eagle, bearing the arms of the United States, is emblematic of Eaton’s appointed position as a Consul of Tunis. The fasces, symbolic of leadership and authority, emphasizes Eaton’s diplomatic role. The arrow within the fasces conveys direction, as well as serves to imply a backing of military force. The olive wreath is associated with peace and compliments the conciliatory efforts made by Eaton prior to the Battle of Derna.

MOTTO:IN ÆRE TERRAM MARIQUE“ translates to “IN THE AIR, ON LAND, AND SEA.“ This personifies the capabilities of USS TRIPOLI as an amphibious warfare vessel and echoes a verse in the Marine Corps Hymn.

SUPPORTERS: The Navy Officer sword and Marine Corps Mameluke sword signify leadership and teamwork. The Marine Corps’ adoption of the Mameluke stems from O’Bannon being awarded the sword by Hamet Karamanli for his leadership and bravery in the decisive victory at Derne. This honor is further commemorated in the Marine Corps Hymn with “To the shores of Tripoli.” The Navy cutlass and Marine Corps NCO sword pay tribute to the enlisted team on the ship.

SEAL: The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white oval, edged gold, enclosed by a dark blue border edged on the outside with a gold rope and inscribed “USS TRIPOLI” above and “LHA 7” below in gold.

USS Tripoli Namesake

The ship is named after the battle of Derna, which took place during the First Barbary War in 1805.

From March through April 1805, United States soldiers and Marines would march toward the port city of Derna, Libya, a part of the Ottoman empire at the time, and conduct an attack on the Barbary States, which had been demanding tribute payments from America.

Army Lieutenant William Eaton, U.S. Navy Agent for the Barbary Regencies, and Marine First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led a small group of Marines, along with Greek and Arab mercenaries, on a 500-mile journey from Egypt through the Libyan desert toward Derna, where they would be provided supplies and support from three American Navy ships; USS Argus, USS Hornet, and USS Nautilus.

On April 27, 1805, Eaton and O’Bannon advanced on a fort where the corsairs had established their base of operations. USS Argus, USS Hornet, and USS Nautilus unleashed a barrage of cannon fire that weakened the defenders, giving Eaton and O‘Bannon an opportunity to charge the enemy. Though Eaton was wounded in the wrist by a musket ball, the Marines led by O’Bannon forced the defenders to flee, and would raise the stars and stripes over the captured fort by that same afternoon.

Following the capture of the fort, the American-led force established their own defenses and repelled Tripolitan reinforcements sent to recapture the city. The battle lasted for two weeks, and despite being outnumbered, Eaton and O’ Bannon’s forces drove the enemy back and claimed victory on May 13, 1805, marking the first successful overseas operation of the United States Marine Corps.

Eaton and O’Bannon returned to America as heroes. ‘The Shores of Tripoli’ has been immortalized as part of the Marine Corps hymn.


USS Tripoli ship history

USS Tripoli (LHA 7) is the second America-class amphibious assault ship built for the United States Navy. On 7 May 2012, United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the ship's name as Tripoli, in honor of the U.S. Marine Corps victory against Tripoli at the Battle of Derna during the First Barbary War in 1805. It was the decisive victory of a mercenary army led by a detachment of United States Marines and soldiers against the forces of Tripoli. Additionally, it was the first recorded battle fought by the United States on foreign soil.

USS Tripoli (LHA 7) is the third U.S. Naval ship to carry the name. The first - USS Tripoli (CVE 64) – was an escort carrier from World War II and the second - USS Tripoli (LPH 10) - was an amphibious assault ship that served during the Cold War.

Tripoli’s design is based on USS Makin Island (LHD 8), an improved version of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Tripoli’s well deck was removed to allow more room for aircraft and aviation fuel and an extended hangar deck with two significantly wider high bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance.

Tripoli’s other enhancements include a reconfigurable command and control complex, an enhanced medical bay, and numerous aviation support spaces and a significant increase in her available stowage for parts and support equipment. She was intended to integrate the entire future air combat element of the U.S. Marine Corps to include the F-35B Lightning II aircraft.

Tripoli was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries at the company's shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship's keel was laid in a ceremony on June 20, 2014 in Pascagoula. Tripoli was launched on May 1 and later christened on September 16, 2017, with Lynne Mabus, wife of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, as the ship’s sponsor. The public commissioning ceremony, originally planned to occur at NAS Pensacola in June, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, Tripoli was delivered to the Navy on 28 February 2020 and commissioned on 15 July 2020 in Pascagoula.

In September 2020, Tripoli completed a homeport shift from Pascagoula, Mississippi to San Diego, California.

On May 2, 2022, Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego for the Western Pacific Ocean on her maiden deployment. Tripoli returned to San Diego in December of 2022 and entered a Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) period in March of 2023.


USS Tripoli (LHA 7)
Unit 100429
FPO AP 96694



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