Tacoma Defiance

Defying definition: USS Point Defiance

Point Defiance, the spectacular jewel of scientific rigor and pleasure, is not just an inspiration for our team’s name and identity. It’s a source of pride for an entire region. It’s a public park, zoo, and aquarium. The point and bluffs are the southern frame of the bay and the northeastern corner of the narrows. Lush and green amid the urban growth of Ruston, Point Defiance inspires the people of Tacoma to connect with nature and learn more about our surroundings.

In 1944, Point Defiance Park was the inspiration for the ship in our logo. The USS Point Defiance took to the oceans in 1955 assigned the Pacific Fleet, a natural fit for a ship named after a park along the waters of Puget Sound. Following two peacetime patrols, the 510 foot dock landing ship helped further the efforts of the global scientific community.

Like it’s bountiful namesake, the USS Point Defiance served more than one purpose. In 1958, the ship of war became a ship of science. During the International Geophysical Year of 1957-8, USS Defiance was the first vessel to launch sounding rockets in support of the mission to study the solar eclipse. These rockets launched 125 miles into the sky brought back X-Ray and UV data. The mission was just off of Danger Island. We mention Danger Island not because of a connection to Tacoma, but because it has an awesome name.

Also involved in multiple combat missions in Vietnam, the history of the USS Point Defiance is a reminder that things can be “more than.” Point Defiance Park is more than recreation; it is also a learning center. The USS Point Defiance is more than a multiple commendation earning ship of war; it was also a pioneer for the exploration of space and science. Tacoma is more than a place; it is a city on the rise reclaiming a proud identity of grit. Tacoma Defiance are more than a soccer team; we are a representation of what Tacoma can and should strive to be.

We share a namesake with the USS Point Defiance and like that proud vessel, we will not be confined to a singular purpose.

More reading

Naval History and Heritage Command – USS Point Defiance (LSD-31)

NavSource Online – USS Point Defiance (LSD-31)

Wikipedia – International Geophysical Year

All Hands – April 1958



Next match at San Antonio FC on April 26 at 5:30 pm. (ESPN+)
Next home match versus Portland Timbers 2, a Day of Defiance, at Cheney Stadium on May 12 at 1:30 pm. (Tickets available here).

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