- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Families eagerly greeted crewmembers as the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu made a Christmas Eve homecoming to Naval Base San Diego after a six-month deployment in the western Pacific.

Relatives waved welcome signs as they waited for loved ones to disembark from the huge ship.

“We’re super excited because they were supposed to be here on the 19th, but it ended up being our Christmas Eve present today,” Irina Gonzalez told KNSD-TV as she waited to see her son.

It was the final homecoming for the Peleliu, which will be decommissioned in March.

USS Peleliu has been in service for 34 years, made 17 deployments and traveled more than a million miles.

The last Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship, it was named for a World War II battle.

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