Friday, October 14, 2016

Ships Named USS Detroit

Today I got to watch one of the Navy's newest ships as she approached the city she's named after.  It was a pretty cool event to see and there was quite alot of other activity surrounding it.  I kind of wanted to go over the history of the name because the current iteration of the USS Detroit is not the first ship to wear that name and probably will not be the last one.
 The name is USS Detroit is almost as old as the US Navy itself.  The first USS Detroit started as the HMS Detroit and served with the Royal Navy.  She was a 20 gun brig that was built at the Amherstburg Royal Navy Dockyard in Amherstburg, Ontario.  Amerherstburg is about 20 miles or so south of Detroit and used to serve as the home of Boblo Island.
So how did a ship that originally belonged to the Royal Navy become a US Navy ship?  She was captured during the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.  After the battle she was used as a hospital ship.  Three days after her capture, a gale swept Lake Erie and demasted her, effectively making her a hulk.  She was then towed to Erie, PA and eventually sold for scrap in 1925.

The next USS Detroit never came to be.  She was intended to be a screw steamer and was laid down in 1865 at the New York Navy Yard.  However, the Civil War ended and she was finally cancelled and broken up.
 The third USS Detroit was launched as the USS Canadaigua in 1862.  She was named after a city and lake in New York.  She first took part in the blockade of Charleston, SC.  She captured a few ships as part of her blockade duty.  In 1863 to 1864, she operated with the US Army in order to capture the fort in Charleston.  On February 17, 1864, she rescued 150 survivors from the USS Housatonic after she was torpedoed by the Confederate Navy's CSS Hunley.    She was decommissioned in 1865.

In 1869, she was recommissioned as the USS Detroit but she would only wear that name briefly and would regain her original name.  In 1875, she was again decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1884.
 The next USS Detroit (C-10) would be the first ship that would be named USS Detroit from the beginning.  She was an unprotected Montgomery Class cruiser.  An unprotected cruiser had little in the way of armor and was mostly used as a gunboat.  These ships would also be used as scout ships.
She was launched on October 28, 1891 from the Columbian Iron Works in Baltimore, Maryland.  She was officially commissioned on July 20, 1893.  She first sailed to Rio de Janeiro to protect Americans there during a Brazillian revolution.  During that tour, she engaged the Brazillian cruiser Trajano.  She then sailed on to Japan and China.
During the Spanish-American War she would shell several cities and participated in the bombardment of San Juan.  After the war, she participated against rebellions in Nicaragua and Venezuela.  She was sold for scrap in 1910.
 The next USS Detroit (CL-8) was a light cruiser that was launched from the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts on June 29, 1922.   Her first duty was to help in one of the first aerial circumnavigations for the US Army Aerial Service in 1924.  In 1927, she transported the US Secretary of State Frank Kellogg from Ireland to France for negotiations of the treaty that would later be known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact which was a pact that would renounce war as an instrument of national policy.
On December 7th, 1941, she was moored next to the USS Raleigh during the Japanese attack on the harbor.  She was then used as a convoy escort.  She served as a flagship during patrols between Attu and Adak.    She would also be used to prevent Japanese reinforcements from reaching the Aleutian Islands.  She covered the landings for the retaking of Kiska.
After her service in the Aleutians, she was used to patrol the western coast of South America.  On September 1, 1945, she would sail into Tokyo Bay to participate in the surrender ceremonies there.  She and the USS West Virginia would be the only two ships that were present at Pearl Harbor to take part in the surrender ceremonies.  On February 27, 1946, she would be sold for scrap.
 The next USS Detroit (AOE-4) was a Sacremento Class fast support ship built by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.  She was launched on June 21, 1969 and commissioned March 14, 1970.  In March 1971, she collided with a Navy Oiler off the coast of South Carolina.  She participated mostly in the Mediterranean Sea but was used in support of the first Persian Gulf War.  She was scrapped in October 2005.
The current USS Detroit (LCS-7) was built by the Marinette Marine Company in Marinette, Wisconsin.  She is the fourth Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship which is a ship designed to operated closer to the shore than other ships.  She was launched in October 2014 and will be commissioned in her namesake city on October 22, 2016.  She will be the first USS Detroit commissioned in Detroit.

The last picture is mine from this afternoon.  The rest come from Wikipedia.

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