USS BUNKER HILL is the first ship in the TICONDEROGA class equipped with the Vertical Launching System (VLS). The cruiser is named after the Battle of Bunker Hill which took place on June 17, 1775.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: 1984|
|Launched: March 11, 1985|
|Commissioned: September 20, 1986|
|Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Blades on each Propeller: five|
|Length: 567 feet (173 meters)|
|Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)|
|Draft: 34 feet (10.2 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 9,600 tons full load|
|Speed: 30+ knots|
|Cost: about $1 billion|
|Aircraft: two SH-60 Sea Hawk (LAMPS 3)|
|Armament: Mk 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk, ASROC; Mk 46 torpedoes, Harpoon missile launchers, two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, two Phalanx CIWS, two Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm machine gun systems|
|Homeport: San Diego, Calif.|
|Crew: 33 Officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers and approx. 324 Enlisted|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS BUNKER HILL. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
The sea dragon is an awesome beast that is both vigilant and fierce. Grasping a flaming sword, the sea dragon symbolizes the naval prowess and attack capability of today's USS BUNKER HILL. The flaming sword also represents the revolutionary capability of the Vertical Launching System first introduced in USS BUNKER HILL. The stars commemorate the eleven battle stars the former USS BUNKER HILL (CV 17) earned in the Pacific theater during World War II. Blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy and are symbolic of the sea and excellence. The two white bars in chief represent American courage and purpose as displayed at the Battle of BUNKER HILL on 17 June 1775. The red bars symbolize the British assaults on the colonists' entrenchment and the curve below alludes to the hill that the British took at great cost. Bunker Hill proved to be a rallying point for the Americans, since afterwards the British faced full scale war.
The colonists were formidable opponents at Bunker Hill. The entrenchments or redoubts they built are symbolized by the scarlet hill and battlements. The muskets with bayonets recall the weapons of that battle and the powder horn refers to the New Englander's stand until their ammunition supply was exhausted. The anchor is symbolic of maritime traditions and excellence of achievement.
History of USS BUNKER HILL:
USS BUNKER HILL was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi. It was commissioned in Boston on 20 September 1986, within sight of the historical monument commemorating the namesake battle.
After commissioning, BUNKER HILL entered the Pacific Fleet via the Panama Canal. BUNKER HILL made its first deployment in July 1987, nearly one year ahead of schedule. During the deployment, the ship provided an anti-air warfare umbrella for the USS MISSOURI (BB 63) and USS RANGER (CV 61) battle groups and U.S. flagged tankers and ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
In August 1988, the ship moved to Yokosuka, Japan joining the USS MIDWAY (CV 41) battle group. Shortly thereafter, the ship departed for a four month deployment in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
From November 1990 through March 1991, BUNKER HILL was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The ship directed the tactical employment of 26 ships and over 300 combat aircraft from six nations. BUNKER HILL also launched a total of 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets in Iraq. The cruiser was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal for its exceptional performance. In July 1991, BUNKER HILL escorted the USS MIDWAY to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for a turnover with USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62).
In March 1992, BUNKER HILL was part of the last battle group to visit the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. In April 1992, BUNKER HILL departed Yokosuka for a seven month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. The cruiser was instrumental in the planning and execution of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, the enforcement of the United Nations no-fly zone over Southern Iraq.
In November 1993, the ship deployed for independent operations in the Sea of Japan before rejoining the INDEPENDENCE battle group to continue Operation Southern Watch. On 17 March 1994, BUNKER HILL returned to Yokosuka marking the completion of its fifth Arabian Gulf deployment.
In March 1996, China fired a series of TBMs into the ocean near Taiwan. USS BUNKERHILL was called on short notice to reposition and track the TBMs using its SPY-1A radar. BUNKER HILL's Aegis Combat System recorded each missile flight in detail.
BUNKER HILL took part in the 6-day long Exercise ANNUALEX headed by the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) Battle Group. The exercise also involved approximately 120 ships and 180 aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the waters surrounding Japan. The exercise aimed at testing the capabilities for coordinated/bilateral operations in defense of Japan.
BUNKER HILL deployed to the Arabian Gulf from January to June 1998.
In August 1998, BUNKER HILL returned to the homeport she left ten years earlier.
USS BUNKER HILL took part in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2000, as part of the the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group. The Battle Group was simultaneously beginning its Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) in preparation for deployment to the western Pacific and Arabian Gulf areas. RIMPAC 2000 focuses on conducting area air defense, war-at-sea and power-projection exercises designed to test and practice the Navy's ability to interface with naval allies from Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, the Republic of Korea and Australia. Following three months spent operating in the Arabian Sea to enforce United Nations sanctions, USS BUNKER HILL completed a visit to Perth and Fremantle, two neighboring cities in Western Australia, in mid-January 2001.
About the Ship's Name, about the Battle of Bunker Hill:
On the Eve of June 16, 1775, the sun set on a small ragtag army of soldiers besieging a city held by the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. The city was Boston, one of the largest port cities of the Northeastern British colonies. The powerful nation was England, whose colonies and dominions were so expansive that the English proudly stated they had an empire on which the sun never set. And the ragtag army was a small militia of Americans who were willing to fight, and die, for the freedom they so strongly believed in.
Colonel William Prescott was ordered that night to take 1200 troops against Englandís 7000 and seize Bunker Hill, overlooking Boston Harbor. Instead, Col. Prescott led his troops to Breedís Hill, a hill on the same peninsula. They worked all night fortifying Breedís Hill under the cover of darkness, and had almost completed their task before the night ended. When dawn broke over the city and the British ships anchored in the harbor discovered what the Americans were up to they opened fire.
Cannon fire proved to be ineffective, so Major General Sir William Howe landed over 2000 British regulars on the beach and twice charged the American soldiers on the hill. Both times, the Americans repelled the British attack, forcing Maj. Gen. Howe to retreat and rethink his strategy. As the British prepared for their third offensive against this ragged militia, Col. Prescott recognized that the Americans were almost out of ammunition. He ordered his men to standby for one more volley of fire and then to retreat.
Many British soldiers fell to the last of the Americansí ammunition, but the English continued the charge. Col. Prescott ordered his men to draw back to safety. After two hours and several attempts, the British were able to take back Breedís Hill, but at a price. The cost to the English was 1054 in casualties, while the cost to the Americans was less than 450 killed, wounded and captured.
At first, the Battle of Bunker Hill was seen as a defeat by the Americans and a tactical victory for the British, which it was. However, the Americans soon came to regard the battle as a moral victory for their fight for independence. They used their actions in this battle to earn support, both at home and abroad, and as a rallying point for later battles. The American militia had successfully held off the highly-trained British soldiers during several attacks, and had given in only when their ammunition had run out. The Battle of Bunker Hill served as a victory to Americans, in that, it inspired them to pursue their efforts and to eventually win their freedom from the British Crown.
USS BUNKER HILL Patch Gallery:
USS BUNKER HILL Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by me and show the BUNKER HILL undergoing overhaul at San Diego, Calif., on March 10, 2008.
The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee and show the BUNKER HILL visiting Hong Kong December 27-29, 2011, while assigned to the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group.
The photos below were taken by me and show the BUNKER HILL at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on October 3, 2012.