The USS Bonhomme Richard cruises past Caloundra after docking in Brisbane. Photo Bill Hogan
The USS Bonhomme Richard cruises past Caloundra after docking in Brisbane. Photo Bill Hogan

US giant shows you cannot keep a good man down

HUNDREDS of spectators lined the Moffat Beach headland and every available vantage point to catch a glimpse of a piece of American military might.

The USS Bonhomme Richard made an impressive sight as it cruised along the coastline yesterday after leaving Brisbane.

The Wasp class assault ship was in the state's capital to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the creation of the US Navy's Pacific 7th Fleet.

Now based in Sasebo, Japan, the USS Bonhomme Richard was hard to miss as it cruised past the mouth of the Pumice-stone Passage.

At 257m long and 32m wide, it carries 104 officers, 1004 enlisted men and a marine detachment of 1894.

But just as impressive as its size for yesterday's onlookers was the firepower lining its decks - 11 helicopters and five AV-8B Harrier attack planes.

The USS Bonhomme Richard was named after John Paul Jones' famous frigate, which he had named the French equivalent of "Good man Richard", in honour of Benjamin Franklin, the US ambassador to France at the time.

Bonhomme Richard was the pen name of Benjamin Franklin, the author of Poor Richard's Almanac.


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