The USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) will anchor in Rockland Harbor for the 76th Maine Lobster Festival. The ship was last in Rockland for the 63rd Maine Lobster Festival.

“I am excited to have our ship on display in Rockland and the crew is excited to partake in the Lobster Fest fun,” said Cmdr. Trey Dittberner, USS Gunston Hall executive officer.

USS Gunston Hall is the second Navy ship to be named after Gunston Hall, the estate of George Mason, one of Virginia’s Revolutionary figures, and father of the Bill of Rights. Her keel was laid down on May 26, 1986, at the Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans. She was launched on June 27, 1987, commissioned on April 22, 1989.

Homeported in Norfolk, Virginia with nearly 300 uniformed men and women aboard, Gunston Hall’s mission is to transport United States Marines with their combat equipment to designated areas around the world, and then to launch and support assault landing craft and helicopters during amphibious operations against hostile shores.

USS Gunston Hall has been highly decorated starting with its first Deployment in 1999 to the Mediterranean Sea. She participated in Operation Allied Force and Shining Hope providing support to refugees fleeing the fighting in Kosovo. On that same deployment Gunston Hall was once again called into action, this time to provide relief and assistance to Turkey in the wake of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake. While on deployment again in 2008, Gunston Hall pursued tanker Golden Nori which had been hijacked by Somalian pirates prior to the extraction of hostages. Once again Gunston Hall provided relief and assistance to Haiti after they sustained a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Most Recently in 2022 Gunston Hall embarked 350 marines apart of the 22nd MEU to deploy with Kearsarge Amphibious Readiness Group to the High North and Baltic Sea for seven months. The crew operated for over thirty days north of the Arctic Circle, in the most unpredictable weather environment she has ever experienced. The ship supported a wide range of interoperability opportunities and exercises increasing combat readiness and crisis response capabilities while strengthening relationships with both NATO Allies and partners serving as a counter to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

USS Gunston Hall Tours

Tours of the ship will be available Aug. 3-6 from 9-11am and 1-3pm. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. No pets or backpacks are allowed.

Rockland Coast Guard Tours

There will be an open house at the Coast Guard pier at 54 Tillson Ave. in Rockland, Aug. 3 and 4 from 12-4pm. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. No pets or backpacks are allowed. No open-toed shoes.