Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Warships of New York

I come from a Navy family. My grandfather served on a sub chaser in WWI, my dad was a Navy hardhat diver during WWII (some real eerie stories-he served in both the PTO and ETO) and my brother served as a snipe on a DDE and took out bridges in Cambodia as a scuba diver assigned to a SEAL team during the Viet Nam war.

New York is certainly not the same place I remember from my youth but it does have a rich, vibrant history and a long naval tradition. Clipper ships were built in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The world's first iron clad, the Monitor, was built there in 1862.

The New York Naval Shipyard (AKA Brooklyn Navy Yard) was established in 1800. The battleships USS Maine, the USS North Carolina and the USS Iowa were built here. So I was very pleased to here that the Navy is building another warship, the USS New York. But first look at some of the older battlewagons.

This is the USS New York, a 8150-ton armored cruiser built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in August 1893. She initially served as flagship of the South Atlantic Squadron, then went to the West Indies before joining the European Squadron in 1895. She was in the North Atlantic Squadron when the Spanish-American War began, and was flagship during the Caribbean campaign that led to the Battle of Santiago on 3 July 1898.
From 1898 to 1916, New York served off Latin America, in Asiatic waters, the eastern Pacific, the Atlantic and off Europe.

She was renamed Saratoga in 1911.

In December, 1941, she was scuttled in the Phillipines to avoid capture by the Japanese.

This is her final resting place.

This is the USS New York (Battleship # 34, later BB-34), 1914-1948. The USS New York was built at the New York Navy Yard. Commissioned in April 1914, her first active service was off Vera Cruz, Mexico, during the U.S. intervention there. She was flagship of the U.S. battleships of the Sixth Battle Squadron during the remainder of the First World War.

With the coming of war to Europe, New York participated in Neutrality Patrol operations, and, as the U.S. drew closer to the conflict in 1941, helped in the occupation of Iceland and in escorting convoys. Her convoy activities continued after the United States became a combatant in December 1941. In November 1942, New York also took part the North African invasion, providing gunfire support for landings at Safi, Morocco. She spent 1943 and most of 1944 on escort and training duties, steaming to the Pacific war zone in early 1945. In February, New York's big guns were active bombarding Iwo Jima before and during the Marines' assault on that island. She was similarly employed off Okinawa from late March until June, and was lightly damaged by a suicide plane on 14 April 1945.

Following the Japanese capitulation in August 1945, New York moved back to the Atlantic and was at New York City for the Navy Day fleet review in late October. Her last active service was as a target during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini, Marshall Islands, in July 1946. Too radioactive for further use, she decommissioned a month later. In July 1948, USS New York was towed out to sea off Pearl Harbor and sunk as a target for Navy aircraft and ships.

This is a drawing of the new USS New York, a new LPD-17. The Landing Platform Dock 17, San Antonio Class, is the latest class of amphibious force ship for the United States Navy. The mission of the San Antonio Class is to transport the US Marine Corps "mobility triad" – that is, Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAVs), air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC) and the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft – to trouble spots around the world.

For more information see here and here and here (thanks Guido!).

The last warship named for this state, sorta, was the nuclear submarine USS New York City which was decommissioned in 1997.


Dale said...

Ed Winter from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilders will be presenting the "Spirit of America" flag to the Captain and crew of the USS New York. The flag is a tribute to veterans of all wars and heroes of 9/11.

Remember our veterans and heroes - They are the true "Spirit of America".

sig94 said...

Amen Dale.