Guided Missile Cruiser

CG 69  -  USS Vicksburg

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - patch crest insignia

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

USS Vicksburg (CG 69)

Type, Class:

 

Guided Missile Cruiser; Ticonderoga (Baseline 4) - class;

planned and built as CG 69;

Builder:

 

Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA

STATUS:

 

Awarded: February 25, 1988

Laid down: May 30, 1990

Launched: August 2, 1991

Commissioned: November 14, 1992

 

ACTIVE in Service / ATLANTIC FLEET

Homeport:

 

Naval Station Mayport, Florida

Namesake:

 

named after and in honor of the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi / American Civil War, 1863

Ship’s Motto:

 

KEY TO VICTORY

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)

 

see: INFO >> Guided Missile Cruiser / Ticonderoga – Class

 

LINKS:

 

see also > Special Report:

Visit to the USS Vicksburg (CG 69) in port of Koper, Slovenia – July 12, 2009.

 

 

Official US Navy site

 

ship images

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Arabian Sea 2009

Arabian Sea – June 22, 2009

 

 

FS Forbin (D 620), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Arabian Sea 2009

French Navy destroyer FS Forbin (D 620), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) underway in the Arabian Sea – June 6, 2009

 

 

USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Arabian Sea 2009

69ers! USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) underway in the Arabian Sea – April 28, 2009

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Arabian Sea 2009

Arabian Sea – April 2, 2009

 

 

FS Jean Bart (D 615), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - Mediterranean Sea 2009

French Navy destroyer FS Jean Bart (D 615), USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

underway in the Mediterranean Sea – March 12, 2009

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Atlantic Ocean 2009

Atlantic Ocean – January 9, 2009

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Atlantic Ocean 2007

Atlantic Ocean – June 24, 2007

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Atlantic Ocean 2007

Atlantic Ocean – June 24, 2007

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Mayport, Florida 2006

Mayport, Florida – June 11, 2006

 

 

USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Vicksburg (CG 69), FS Charles DeGaulle (R 92) and FS Cassard (D 614) - Persian Gulf 2006

USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Vicksburg (CG 69),

FS Charles DeGaulle (R 92) and FS Cassard (D 614) – Persian Gulf – April 27, 2006

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Arabian Gulf 2004

Arabian Gulf – November 10, 2004

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Arabian Gulf 2004

Arabian Gulf – November 3, 2004

 

 

USS Vicksburg fires her Mk.45 gun - Arabian Gulf 2004

USS Vicksburg (CG 69) fires one of her 2 Mk.45 (5”/54 caliber) guns – Arabian Gulf – October 25, 2004

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Atlantic Ocean 2004

Atlantic Ocean – June 11, 2004

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - Atlantic Ocean 2004

Atlantic Ocean – June 11, 2004

 

 

USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) firing Standard Missiles during an exercise 2003

USS Vicksburg (CG 69) (far left), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Carney (DDG 64) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) firing missiles during an exercise – December 2003

 

 

USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Hue City (CG 66) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) - Atlantic Ocean 2002

USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Hue City (CG 66) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) – Atlantic Ocean – August 16, 2002

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - underway replenishment 2002

underway replenishment – May 8, 2002

 

 

The Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi – 1863

 

The Battle (Siege) of Vicksburg - painting

Battle (Siege) of Vicksburg – painting by Kurz and Allison

(13, 15 and 17 Corps, commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant, assisted by the Navy under Admiral Porter)

 

 

Vicksburg, Mississippi - map

Vicksburg, Mississippi – map

 

 

 

Major General Ulysses S. Grant / USA

Ulysses S. Grant (USA)

(April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)

 

 

Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton / CSA

John Clifford Pemberton (CSA)

(August 10, 1814July 13, 1881)

 

 

Namesake & History:

About the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi / American Civil War – 1863:

 

The Battle of Vicksburg or Siege of Vicksburg was the final significant battle in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of brilliant maneuvers, Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton into defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grant besieged the city, which surrendered six weeks later, yielding command of the Mississippi River to the Union.


Prelude

Before the battle, Grant had captured Jackson, Mississippi, and Pemberton retreated to the west. Attempts to stop the Union advance at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge were unsuccessful. Pemberton knew that the corps under William T. Sherman was preparing to flank him from the north; he had no choice but to withdraw or be outflanked. Pemberton burned the bridges over the Big Black River and took everything edible in his path, animal and plant, as he retreated to the well-fortified city of Vicksburg.

The Confederates evacuated Haine's Bluff, attacked by Sherman, and Union steamboats no longer had to run the guns of Vicksburg, now able to dock by the dozens up the Yazoo River. Grant could now receive supplies more directly than the previous route around Vicksburg, over the crossing at Grand Gulf, and back up north.

Over half of Pemberton's army of 17,500 had been lost in the two preceding battles, and everyone in Vicksburg expected General Joseph E. Johnston, in overall command of Confederate forces in Mississippi, to relieve the city - which he never did. Large masses of Union troops were on the march to invest the city, repairing the burnt bridges over the Big Black River; Grant's forces were across on May 18. Johnston sent a note to Pemberton, asking him to sacrifice the city and save his troops, something Pemberton would not do. (Pemberton, a northerner by birth, was probably influenced by his fear of public condemnation as a traitor if he abandoned Vicksburg.)
Vicksburg was under siege.

In the twenty days since the river crossing at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, Grant had marched his troops 180 miles, inflicting 7,200 casualties at a cost of 4,300 of his own, winning five of five battles: Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, and Big Black River, and not losing a single gun or stand of colors.

As the Union forces approached Vicksburg, Pemberton could put only 18,500 troops in his lines. Grant had over twice that, with more coming.


Assaults

Grant wanted a quick end and prepared for an immediate assault, performing only a cursory reconnaissance. His troops prepared a position in front of the town and on May 19 Sherman's corps conducted a frontal assault against the Confederate works, marching from the north along Graveyard Road into murderous fire from Stockade Redan. Many of the Federals found something under which to hide, sneaking back to Union lines after dark. Grant inflicted under 200 casualties at a cost of 942. The Confederates, assumed to be demoralized, had regained their fighting edge.

True to his aggressive nature, Grant planned his next assault, but this time with greater care; they would first reconnoiter thoroughly and soften up the rebels with artillery fire. The attack was set for May 22. Grant did not want a long siege, and this attack was to be by the entire army.

Despite their bloody repulse, Union troops were in high spirits, now well-fed with provisions they had foraged. On seeing Grant pass by, a soldier commented, "Hardtack." Soon all Union troops in the vicinity were yelling, "Hardtack! Hardtack!" The Union served hardtack, beans, and coffee that night. Everyone expected that Vicksburg would fall the next day.

Union forces bombarded the city all night, including naval gunfire from the river, and while causing little property damage, they damaged Confederate morale. On the morning of May 22, the defenders were bombarded again for four hours before the Union attacked once more along a three-mile front. Sherman attacked once again down the Graveyard Road, James B. McPherson in the center along the Jackson Road, and John A. McClernand on the south along the Baldwin Ferry Road and astride the Southern Railroad of Mississippi. They broke through a few times, but were beaten back by the Confederates, who could move reinforcements easily on their shorter interior lines. McClernand's corps achieved a small breakthrough at the Railroad Redoubt and requested reinforcements. Grant ordered a diversionary attack, first by Sherman's corps, then James B. McPherson's, both bloodily repulsed. McClernand attacked again, reinforced by one of McPherson's divisions, but with no success. The day saw over 3,000 Union casualties. Enraged, Grant blamed McClernand for misleading dispatches.


Siege
 
Grant's optimism grew as realized he had the city invested. With their backs against the Mississippi and Union gunboats firing from the river, Confederate soldiers and citizens alike were trapped. Grant's troops dug in and started a siege. Pemberton was determined to hold his few miles of the Mississippi as long as possible, hoping for relief from Johnston or elsewhere.

A new problem confronted the Confederates. The dead and wounded of Grant's army lay in the heat of Mississippi summer, the odor of the deceased men and horses fouling the air, the wounded crying for medical help and water. Grant first refused a request of truce, thinking it a show of weakness. Finally he relented, and the Confederates held their fire while the Union recovered the wounded and dead, soldiers from both sides mingling and trading as if no hostilities existed for the moment.

In an effort to cut Grant's supply line, the Confederates attacked Milliken's Bend up the Mississippi on June 7. This was mainly defended by untrained black troops, who fought bravely with inferior weaponry and finally fought off the rebels with help from gunboats, although at horrible cost; the defenders lost 652 to the Confederate 185. The loss at Milliken's Bend left the rebels with no hope for relief but from the cautious Johnston. Opinion within Vicksburg passed from "Johnston is coming!" to "Where is Johnston?"

All through June, the Union dug lines parallel to and approaching the rebel lines. Soldiers could not poke their heads up above their works for fear of snipers. It was a sport for Union troops to poke a hat above the works on a rod, betting on how many rebel bullets would pierce it in a given time. Union troops set off explosions below Confederate lines, such as the attacks against the 3rd Louisiana Redan on June 25 and July 1. But these attacks were unsuccessful. The Confederates always healed the breaches, but were pulling tighter.

Pemberton was boxed in with lots of inedible munitions and little food. The poor diet was showing on the Confederate soldiers. By the end of June, half were out sick or hospitalized. Scurvy, malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, and other diseases cut their ranks. At least one city resident had to stay up at night to keep starving soldiers out of his vegetable garden. The constant shelling did not bother him as much as the loss of his food. As the siege wore on, fewer and fewer horses, mules, and dogs were seen wandering about Vicksburg. Shoe leather became a last resort of sustenance for many adults.

As the bombing continued, suitable housing in Vicksburg was reduced to a minimum. A ridge, located between the main town and the rebel defense line, provided a diverse citizenry with lodging for the duration. Whether houses were structurally sound or not, it was deemed safer to occupy these dugouts. People did their best to make them comfortable, with rugs, furniture, and pictures. They tried to time their movements and foraging with the rhythm of the cannonade, sometimes unsuccessfully. Since the fighting line was fairly close, soldiers made their way rearward to visit family and friends, a boost to morale.


Surrender and aftermath

Joseph E. Johnston, the only possibility for a Confederate rescue, felt his force at Jackson was too small to attack Grant's huge army. While Johnston's force was growing (at cost to the rest of the hard-pressed Confederacy), Grant's was growing faster, supplied via the now-open Yazoo River. Johnston, lacking in supplies, stated, "I consider saving Vicksburg hopeless." The Confederate government felt otherwise, asking the cautious Johnston to attack, requests he resisted. Robert E. Lee had remarked that the Mississippi climate in June would be sufficient to defeat the Union attack and he resisted calls to ride to the city's rescue from the Eastern Theater; his Army of Northern Virginia instead invaded the North in the Gettysburg Campaign with the partial objective of relieving pressure on Vicksburg. Finally on July 1, Johnston's relief column began cautiously advancing due west toward Union lines. On July 3 he was ready for his attack, but on July 4, Independence Day, the Union guns were oddly quiet.

On July 3, Pemberton sent a note to Grant, who, as at Fort Donelson, first demanded unconditional surrender. But Grant reconsidered, not wanting to feed 30,000 hungry Confederates in Union prison camps, and offered to parole all prisoners. Considering their destitute state, dejected and starving, he never expected them to fight again; he hoped they would carry home the stigma of defeat to the rest of the Confederacy. In any event, it would have occupied his army and taken months to ship that many troops north.

Surrender was formalized by an old oak tree, "made historical by the event." In his Personal Memoirs, Grant described the fate of this luckless tree:

It was but a short time before the last vestige of its body, root and limb had disappeared, the fragments taken as trophies. Since then the same tree has furnished as many cords of wood, in the shape of trophies, as the "True Cross."

Although there was more action to come in the Vicksburg Campaign, the fortress city had fallen and, with the capture of Port Hudson on July 8, the Mississippi River was firmly in Union hands and the Confederacy split in two.

 

USS Vicksburg (CG 69):

 

Built by Ingalls Shipbuilding, at Pascagoula, MS, USS VICKSBURG's keel was laid on May 30, 1990 and she was launched on September 7, 1991. USS VICKSBURG was sponsored by Tricia Lott, wife of the Honorable Trent Lott, United States Senator, Mississippi. On October 12, 1991, Mrs. Lott christened CG 69 as "VICKSBURG". The ship was commissioned on November 14, 1992.

On her six month maiden deployment to the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas as a part of the USS SARATOGA joint task group, USS VICKSBURG operated as "redcrown" cruiser, an airspace deconfliction and command and control platform, in support of United Nations operations "Deny Flight", "sharp Guard" and "Provide Promise" off the coast of Montenegro. In May 1994, USS VICKSBURG participated, as part of the USS SARATOGA (CV 60) Battle Group, in the major annual spring NATO exercise "Dynamic Impact 94", a conventional major NATO exercise for maritime, amphibious, land based air and ground forces in the central and western Mediterranean area. The exercise was being held in the Western Mediterranean.

USS VICKSBURG was on station in the Florida Straits in August 1994 for Operation Able Vigil. While deployed, USS VICKSBURG was tasked with providing support to the interdicting and transporting Cuban migrants in the Florida Straits to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and assisting the U.S. Coast Guard which had the primary responsibility for Operation Able Vigil.

As a precautionary measure, in September 1996, USS VICKSBURG was one of 13 Navy ships homeported at Naval Station Mayport, and sent to sea to avoid Hurricane Fran.

The USS VICKSBURG left its homeport on April 29, 1997 for a six-month overseas deployment with the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) Battle Group (CVBG) to relieve the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) CVBG, which had been operating in the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) Battle Group deployed in support of Operation Deliberate Guard and Operation Southern Watch. As part of that battle group, USS VICKSBURG took part, in July, in the 6th Fleet exercise Invitex involving 12 nations, and from September 23-October 7, in NATO'S Exercise Dynamic Mix. That exercise placed JOHN F. KENNEDY Battle Group units on opposing sides and was designed to increase task force and unit readiness as forces implemented NATO strategy and doctrine.

In 1998, USS VICKSBURG experienced significant problems with AEGIS Baseline 6.1 and CEC 2.0 integration, which forced re-scheduling its deployments and caused a major rework of these computer programs.

USS VICKSBURG took part in U.S. Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) '99 in the Western Baltic Sea in mid-1999. The exercise included 53 ships, submarines and aircraft from European allies and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations Poland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and the United States.

In the fall of 1999, USS VICKSBURG, participated solely in the modernized phase of the 40th annual UNITAS deployment to South America. During that deployment, it served as Flagship for the Commander, South Atlantic Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Commander, Destroyer Squadron Six. The 40th UNITAS was a three-week exercise was hosted by Brazil and included 23 ships from six countries, including the host, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal and Spain.

USS VICKSBURG took part in September 2000 in Underway No. 10", one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common, consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group defenses to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops Island, VA, simulated missile firings from some of the Navy's most technically advanced ships against unmanned drones.

From February 9, 2001, to March 2, 2001, USS VICKSBURG took part in a technical evaluation (TECHEVAL) to test whether the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) was on track to a successful Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) in April and May of 2001. The TECHEVAL was conducted in two phases, the first off the coast of Puerto Rico and the second off Wallops Island, Va. The tests included live missile firings and tracking exercises from some of the Navy's most technically advanced ships.

As part of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG), and in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, USS VICKSBURG set sail in support of defense and humanitarian efforts off the coast of New York.

USS VICKSBURG, as part of the JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) Battle Group (CVBG) participated in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, with Phase I of the exercise running from January 19 through 26, 2002, and Phase II running from February 7-14.

USS VICKSBURG deployed as part of the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY Battlegroup, which relieved on March 8, 2002, the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) Carrier Battle Group, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. USS VICKSBURG was tasked with helping protect the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) from threats in the sky, on the surface, or underwater.

 

patches

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - patch crest insignia

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - patch crest insignia

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - patch crest insignia

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 - cruise patch

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 / HSL-44 Det. 10 cruise patch

 

 

USS Vicksburg CG 69 / HSL-42 cruise patch

 

 

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