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American Naval Fighting Ships

The American Navy is the largest in the world, having a huge resource of fighting ships. In fact, the battle fleet of the U.S. Navy is so huge that its fleet tonnage exceeds the next 13 largest fleets of the world, combined. It all began during the early stages of the Revolutionary War. With the establishment of a naval base that could challenge the British Navy, Colonists began to be debated the merits of a naval fleet in a meeting of the Continental Congress. “Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive,” said George Washington, and thus came about the Continental Navy. Naval power played a significant role in the American Civil War, though it saw very little action during the World War I. In the 21st Century, the U.S. Navy has a sizable global presence and it actively supports America’s defense and foreign policy. Within the U.S. Navy, there are a few ships that stand out from the thousands of other ships for their historical significance and the bravery of those on board. The following list of American naval fighting ships is provided by the Action Boat and Yacht Donation Service Corporation as a resource and tribute to the U.S. Navy and its fighting ships:

Notable Pre-1880s U.S. Naval Ships

  • The USS New Hampshire- It was a mighty ship of the line that was believed to be “not less than 74 guns.” She remained on the stocks for preservation of the U.S. until needed during the Civil War.
  • Chimo – This was a light, ironclad monitor, fitted with torpedo gear and one 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore gun.
  • The US. Cyane – Cyane had an interesting history. She was built for the Royal Navy, but was later purchased by the Navy.
  • Frolic – Frolic, was a small sailing warship or sloops-of-war, which destroyed British merchantman, and later on the same day, she sank an unnamed privateer. On a later date however, it encountered the British fleet and was taken by the Royal Navy and broken up.
  • Elfin – Elfin was a light gunboat that was operating with two other gunboats in the Tennessee River. However, after prolonged fights, all the three vessels, including Elfin was burned down, in order to prevent capture.
  • Eagle – This ship severed the country gallantly. It was the first vessel in the American line and was holed 39 times and had 13 men killed and 20 wounded.

Notable Post-1880s U.S. Navy Ships

  • New Mexico BB-40 – This battleship was launched in April 1917. Capt. Ashley H. Robertson was in command of the battleship, which was the lead ship of a class of three ships. It served the U.S navy till 1946 and underwent huge modernizations in the 1930s. It served the country during World War II and received 6 battle stars for the service.
  • New York BB-34 – This battleship saw action in both World Wars. She received 3 battle stars for World War II service.
  • USS Wisconsin (BB64) – She was laid down on January 25th, 1941 and served during the Kuwait war.
  • Kitty Hawk CV-63 – Formerly known as CVA-63, this supercarrier has a long and interesting battle history. She was the last of the aircraft carriers to be conventionally fueled, as well as the first and last active ship of her own class. Kitty Hawk was officially decommissioned in 2009, after a service time that lasted almost half a century.
  • WASP (CV 7) – It was the first US carrier to launch US Army aircraft. Wasp received two battle stars for her service during World War II.
  • USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) – She served to conduct maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf. The carrier also offered humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the Philippines during June 2008.
  • Hamlin (CVE-15) – Later renamed as HMS Stalker, Hamlin (CVE-15) was transferred to the British under lend-lease during World War II. The escort aircraft also played a major role in the allied operations in the Atlantic.
  • (CVE 43) JAMAICA – It was an escort aircraft carrier that took active part in the Burma campaign in 1945, which sank U-198 in the Indian Ocean,
  • CS-1 CHESTER – The American cruiser Chester carried out a number of operations, including training activities off the east coast and in the Caribbean and many other diplomatic duties. The cruiser was decommissioned the second time on 10 June 1921 and was finally sold for scrap in May 1930s.
  • BUFFALO – She was built in 1892 as an auxiliary cruiser, later she served as a training vessel.
  • Horne (DLG-30) – This Frigate was sponsored by Mrs. Frederick J. Horne, widow of Admiral Horne and commanded by Captain Stansfield Turner. It was later reclassified as a guided missile cruiser.
  • DLG 10 KING – She was laid down in March 1957. She served in Hawaiian waters, South China Sea and also during the Vietnam War.
  • Roe DD-24 – Like all destroyers that are named after naval heroes and other notable persons, USS Roe (DD-24) was named for Francis Asbury Roe. She has a long history and has operated on a number of key events through the American history.
  • DD 41 JOUETT – Jouett operated off the East Coast and supported the landing of Marines at Vera Cruz during April 1914. She was decommissioned on 24 November, 1919.
  • TB 13 Fox – The Torpedo Boat No. 13, Fox cruised only the immediate area around Mare Island Navy Yard, conducting a number of trails of engines and equipments and also developing tactics
  • TB 7 Du Pont – She was a 165-ton torpedo boat and server in the Spanish-American War and World War I.
  • DE 401 Holder – The holder escorted the convoy bound for Mediterranean ports and was struck by torpedoes along the way. However, the holder’s crew remained vigilant and later; the holder was decommissioned in 1944.
  • DE 35 Fair – She received 5 battle stars for her service during World War II.
  • SS 29 H-2 – This was a H-class sub, which was originally and very aptly named Nautilus, derived from the Greek word meaning ship or sailor.
  • SF 6 V-3 – She was launched on June 9th, 1925 and served along the east coast and in the Caribbean.
  • LPH 10 Tripoli – This was the fifth of the Iwo Jima, which earned a number of awards including, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and so on.
  • LSD 4 Epping Forest – She served as a dock landing ship during World War II.
  • ACM 8 Picket – Acting as a minesweeper tender, Picket served America for many years.
  • PG 22 Tulsa – An Asheville-class gunboat in the United States Navy, this fighter boat was nicknamed the Galloping Ghost of the South China Coast.
  • ZRS 4 Akron – This was a helium-filled rigid airship of the United States Navy. The airship got lost in weather related issues and a killed a number of crew members and passengers.

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