Ticonderoga is “Ship” Shape!

Do you know just how often “Ticonderoga” has been used to name a ship? An Iroquois word meaningUSS Ti logo “between two waters,” Ticonderoga NY was a vital area of land during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Fort Ticonderoga was the sight of many bloody battles as it changed hands several times during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. However, during United States Naval history, there have been several Ticonderoga’s and their namesake is derived from the bloodless capture of Fort Ticonderoga from the British by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys on May 10th, 1775.

“Ticonderoga” in United States Naval History:

USS TICONDEROGA (1814-1825): The first Navy ship bearing the name, this 17-gun schooner was used in the War of 1812 at the USS Ti 3Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814. This battle lasted two-and-a-half hours. There is a famous story that goes along with this ship, in that during the battle, Midshipman Hiram Paulding, onboard The Ticonderoga, was equipped with faulty matches and actually used his pistol to fire a cannon. Six members of the ship were killed. After the battle, the ship was berthed in Whitehall. In 1959, the remains of the first USS Ticonderoga were raised from the bottom of Lake Champlain and on display at the Skenesborough Museum in Whitehall NY.

TICONDEROGA (1849-1872):  The second ship to bear the name, the Ticonderoga was not a ship belonging to the U.S. Navy, though it had a longer run and a less fortunate fate. A double-decker clipper ship built in 1849 by Perrine, Patterson and Stock and launched in Williamsburg, NY, it transported people and cargo to New York City, Liverpool, Burma, and Germany. Ill-famed due to its “fever ship” voyage in 1852, where severely overcrowded and unsanitary conditions on a voyage from Liverpool to Port Phillip, Australia, caused an outbreak of Typhus that killed 100 passengers during the voyage. Upon arrival in Victoria, Australia, the ship was quarantined where it was anchored offshore and many more died. The USS Ticonderoga wrecked off the coast of India in 1872.

USS TICONDEROGA (1863-1887):  The third ship in history to bear the name, and the second to belong to the U.S. Navy, this Lackawanna class sloop of war was built in Brooklyn at the New York Naval Yard in 1863. This ship had an extensive Civil War career, operating in the area of the West Indies to guard against Confederate invaders and in the northwestern Atlantic as well. After two years of performing these duties, she was directed to find the Confederate cruiser, CSS Florida, a search that lasted six months. After this, the Navy ship partook in the December 1864 and January 1865 attacks on Fort Fisher, North Carolina. In 1865, it was placed out of commission. In 1866, after several modifications, the USS Ticonderoga was put back into active duty, operating in the Mediterranean, Africa, South America, and the North American Squadron until it finally was decommissioned in 1882 after a cruise around the world.

uss-ticonderoga-shelburneTICONDEROGA (1906-1950):  In 1906, this steamboat was commissioned by the Champlain Transportation Company in Shelburne, Vermont. Transporting troops, passengers, and cargo around Lake Champlain until 1950, it was discharged in 1950 and moved to the Shelburne Museum, where it was declared a National Historic Landmark.

USS TICONDEROGA (1917-1918):  The third United States Navy ship to assume the name and the fifth in history, the USS Ticonderoga was used during World War I to transport troops and supplies to Europe. Formerly the Camilla Rickmers, a German cargo ship, on its third voyage to Europe, it developed engine trouble and fell behind her convoy, where a German submarine engaged the steamship in a gun battle that resulted in killing nearly everyone onboard. The ship was abandoned with only 24 survivors.

USS TICONDEROGA CV-14, CVA-14 & CVS-14 (1944-1975):  The fourth USS Ticonderoga, this aircraft carrier, also known as “The Big T” wasUSS Ticonderoga CV-14 commissioned in Newport News, VA, in 1944. The carrier went to the Pacific, transporting aircraft to Hawaii and participated in training experiments for the Vietnam War. Venturing to the western Pacific, it launched air strikes on November 5, 1944, and continued for two months. In January of 1945, it took part in raids on Japanese assets, and was hit by suicide planes on January 21st, losing 140 crewmembers and having to return to the U.S for repairs. Four months later, the carrier returned to the western Pacific and continued with air strikes for another two months. At the end of WWII, it transported veterans back to the United States. The Ticonderoga was decommissioned in 1947. Five years later, the ship was modernized, reactivated, and redesignated as a CVA-14. Serving for two years in the Atlantic Fleet, she returned and was modernized once again to accommodate high-performance jet aircraft. Between 1957-1969, it was deployed ten times to the western Pacific. The sixth deployment, and the next four, would find the crew involved in air strikes in North Vietnam. In 1969, the USS Ticonderoga was redesignated a CVS-14 antisubmarine warfare support carrier. After two Asian cruises in 1972, it was involved in the space flight recoveries of Apollo 16 and 17. It was decommissioned in 1975.

USS TICONDEROGA DDG-47/CG-47 (1983-2004): The fifth USS Ticonderoga, and the seventh ship bearing the name, this was the lead ship of a whole class of cruisers called the Ticonderoga Class. USS Ti 1Commissioned in 1983, this was the first warship armed with the AEGIS combat system. The first two deployments were Mediterranean cruises, where it served as on-scene air-warfare commander. During the Iraq-Iran War, the Ticonderoga participated in Operation Earnest Will, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Southern Watch, and Operation Deny Flight over Bosnia. In 1996, the USS Ticonderoga switched homeports from Norfolk, VA, to Pascagoula, MS, where it began working with South American Naval Forces in counter-narcotics ops. After September 11, 2001, it became the South-East Sector Air Defense Group Commander and from March to August of 2004, the USS Ticonderoga completed her final deployment and one of the most effective counter-narcotics operations ever.

Lake George Pride & Joys:

Ticonderoga I (Lake George Steamboat Company 1884-1901):  Launched at Cook’s Landing in 1884, this was the last large steamboat made of wood on Lake George. A popular attraction, providing tours of Lake George, a fire below deck caused the ship to have to unload all of its passengers at the Rodger’s Rock Hotel. The fire burned the ship completely until it sank to the bottom of the lake.

Ticonderoga II (Lake George Steamboat Company 1944-1993):  A U.S. Navy ship first, the Ticonderoga II spent the last year of World War II sailing in the Pacific. Retired in 1947, the Lake George Steamboat Company purchased the vessel for $11,000 and sailed it up the Hudson into Lake Champlain. Cutting the vessel into four sections, it was moved to Baldwin on Lake George and reassembled for $250,000. It’s first voyage as the “Ticonderoga II” was in 1951 and until 1989, the ship offered round trip voyages around Lake George. Due to wear and tear, she was replaced by the Lac Du Saint Sacrement and in 1993, was scrapped for metal but not from memories!

Read about Ticonderoga history to discover more about why this famous town is so prominent in American history!


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