USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) is the third Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. She is the fifth ship to be named (the fourth actually commissioned) in honor of the USS Kearsarge, a sloop-of-war that gained fame during the American Civil War, which was in turn named for Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire.
USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
Fabrication work for Iwo Jima began at Ingalls shipyard on 3 September 1996, and the ship’s keel was laid on 12 December 1997. She was launched on 4 February 2000. USS Iwo Jima was christened by her sponsor, Mrs. Zandra Krulak, wife of General Charles C. Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, in Pascagoula, Mississippi on 25 March 2000. The commissioning crew moved aboard in April 2001, and made the ship’s maiden voyage on 23 June 2001, accompanied by more than 2,000 World War II veterans — many of them survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima. She was commissioned a week later in Pensacola, Florida, on 30 June 2001.