Japan is fully of beauty and a major travel destination. Many seek adventure and the Phoebe's home port is a destination that offers amazing vistas. India Basin, the Bar District and Jane Mansfield hill are as close as purchasing cheap airline tickets and starting a Japanese adventure. Sasebo has made the transition from tiny fishing village to major base of fleet operations and even a destination to enjoy what Japan has to offer in the 21st century.
Looking at the Harbor and India Basin, Sasebo
Looking at Jane Mansfield hill in the distance
Bar District, Sasebo, Japan
Miura Catholic Church at Sasebo, Japan. 1961This church is still going strong
1961 street scene in Sasebo
street scene Sasebo 1961
Sasebo River 1961
The important bilateral relationship between Japan and the United States which exists today is very much in evidence at the U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo, where ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Fore and the United States Seventh Fleet share this excellent port.
Sasebo has been an important naval base ever since 1883, when Lieutenant Commander Heihachiro Togo nominated the tiny fishing village here to form the nucleus for a mighty base for the Imperial Japanese Navy. In 1904, ships of the Japanese Navy under Admiral Togo sailed from Sasebo to take on the Russian Baltic Fleet. Admiral Togos victory at the Battle of Tsushima is a classic in naval history.
The Imperial Japanese Navy had some 60,000 people working in the dock yard and associated naval stations here at the peak of World War II, outfitting ships, submarines and aircraft. In those days, just as today, Sasebo was a favorite liberty port for navy personnel.
In September of 1945, the U.S. Marine Corps Fifth Division landed at Sasebo, and in June 1946, U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo was established.
When war broke out in Korea three years later, Sasebo became the main launching point for the United Nations and the U.S. Forces. Millions of tons of ammunition, fuel, tanks, trucks and supplies flowed through Sasebo on their way to the U.N. Forces in Korea. The number of American in Sasebo grew to about 20,000; and some 100 warships and freighters per day swelled the foreign populations here still more.
After the Korean war ended, the Japanese Self Defense Forces were formed, and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces ships began to homeport in Sasebo, the U.S. Fleet Activities continued to support ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Service Force ships as well as minecraft made Sasebo their homeport.
The U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo provided heavy support to the expanded Seventh Fleet during the years of war in Southeast Asia. Repair work done by Japanese shipyards in Sasebo was then, and is still today, equal to the best in the world. In the mid-seventies, the U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo became the Naval Ordnance Facility, Sasebo, and fleet visits dwindled to a very low level.
But on July 4th, 1980, this trend was reversed. U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo regained its name, and once again Seventh Fleet ships were forward deployed to Sasebo. Sasebo is currently home to: USS Essex (LHD 2); USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43); USS Juneau (LPD 10); USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49); USS Guardian (MCM 5) and USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Safeguard (ARS 50) and some 5,600 Americans as part of the forward deployed naval forces.
The U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo played a vital logistics role in Operation Desert Shield/Storm during 1990-91, by serving as a supply point for ordnance and fuel for ships and Marines operating in the Persian Gulf theater.
Today, as throughout its history, the U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo stands ready to support Seventh Fleet units as they continue to ensure peace and security in the Pacific region.