Guided Missile Cruiser

CG 52  -  USS Bunker Hill



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - patch crest

USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

USS Bunker Hill (CG 52)

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Cruiser; Ticonderoga (Baseline 2) - class;

planned and built as CG 52;



Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA



Awarded: January 15, 1982

Laid down: January 11, 1984

Launched: March 11, 1985

Commissioned: September 20, 1986





Naval Station San Diego, California



named after and in honor of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Massachusetts –

American Revolutionary War – June 17, 1775.

Ship’s Motto:



Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


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



Official US Navy site


ship images


USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Desert Shield 1992

underway during Operation Desert Shield – May 18, 1992



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - San Diego 2004

San Diego, California – December 6, 2004



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - San Diego, California - 2006

San Diego, California – September 13, 2006



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - San Diego 2006

San Diego, California – September 13, 2006



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 2007

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – March 4, 2007



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Indian Ocean 2007

refueling at sea (Indian Ocean) – January 6, 2007



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Indian Ocean 2007

Indian Ocean – January 12, 2007



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - San Diego, California 2007

San Diego, California – March 13, 2007



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

September 8, 2002



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Indian Ocean 2007

Indian Ocean - January 12, 2007



Namesake & History:

The Battle of Bunker Hill, Massachusetts – June 17, 1775:


Bunker Hill was a battle of the American Revolutionary War that took place on June 17, 1775 during the Siege of Boston. General Putnam was in charge of the revolutionary forces. Major William Prescott was second in charge. Prestcott is known as the officer that talked to his men with these words:"don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!" Although the battle is known as "Bunker Hill", the majority of the fighting actually occurred on nearby Breed's Hill. A common misconception is that it all took place on Bunker Hill. British forces under General Howe drove the tired hungry and scared American militia from fortified positions on Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. The battle was a pyrrhic victory for Howe. His immediate objective was achieved, but the attack demonstrated the American will to stand in pitched battle, caused substantial British casualties,at least 1500 british soldiers were killed or wounded, and did not change the status of the siege. After the battle, British General Henry Clinton remarked in his diary that "A few more such victories would have surely put an end to British dominion in America."


Boston had been occupied by the British army since 1768. Since May of 1774 Massachusetts had been under martial law under General Thomas Gage. After armed conflict with the colonialists started on April 19, 1775 at the Battle of Lexington and Concord Gage's forces had been besieged in Boston by 8,000 to 12,000 militia led mainly by General Artemas Ward. In May, the British garrison was increased by the arrival of about 4,500 additional troops and Major General Howe. Admiral Samuel Graves commanded the fleet within the harbor.

General Gage started work with his new generals on a plan to break the siege of Boston. They would use an amphibious assault to remove the Americans from the Dorchester Heights or take their headquarters at Cambridge. To thwart these plans, General Ward gave orders to General Israel Putnam to fortify Bunker Hill.

The battleground

The Charlestown Peninsula extended about 1 mile (1600 meters) toward the southwest into Boston Harbor. At its closest approach less than 1000 feet (300 meters) separated it from the Boston Peninsula. Bunker Hill is an elevation at the rear of the peninsula, and Breed's Hill is near the Boston end, while the town of Charlestown occupied the flats at the southern end.

Description of the battle

On the night of June 16, American Colonel William Prescott led 1,500 men onto the peninsula. At first Putnam, Prescott, and their engineering officer, Captain Richard Gridley, disagreed as to where they should locate their defense. Breed's Hill was viewed as much more defensible, and they decided to locate their primary redoubt there. Prescott and his men, using Gridley's outline, began digging a fortification 160 feet (50 m) long and 80 feet (25 m) wide with ditches and earthen walls. They added ditch and dike extensions toward the Charles River on their right and began reinforcing a fence running to their left.

In the early predawn, around 4 am, a sentry on board the HMS Lively was first to spot the new fortification. The Lively opened fire, temporarily halting the Americans' work. Admiral Graves, on his flagship HMS Somerset, woke irritated by gunfire he hadn't ordered. He ordered it stopped, only to reverse himself when he got on deck and saw the works. He ordered all 128 guns in the harbor to open up on the American position. The broadsides proved largely ineffective, since the ships couldn't elevate their guns enough to reach the fortifications.

It took almost six hours to organize an infantry force, gather up and inspect the men on parade. General Howe was to lead the major assault, drive around the American left flank, and take them from the rear. Brigadier General Robert Pigot on the British left flank would lead the direct assault on the redoubt. Major John Pitcairn led the flank or reserve force. It took several trips in longboats to assemble Howe's forces on the northwest corner of the peninsula. On a warm day, with full field packs of about 60 pounds (30 kg), the British were finally ready about two in the afternoon.

The Americans, seeing this activity, had also called for reinforcements. The only troops to get to the forward positions were two New Hampshire regiments (1st NH and 3rd NH) of 200 men under John Stark and James Reed. Stark's men took positions along the fence on the left or north end of the American position. Since low tide opened a gap along the Mystic River, they quickly extended the fence with a short stone wall to the north. Gridley or Stark placed a stake about 30 meters in front of the fence and ordered that no one fire until the regulars passed it. Private John Simpson, however, disobeyed orders and fired as soon as he had a clear shot, thus starting the battle.

Prescott had been steadily losing men. He lost very few to the bombardment, but had ten volunteers to carry every wounded man to the rear. Others took advantage of the confusion to join the withdrawal. Two generals did join Prescott's force, but both declined command, and simply fought as individuals. One of these was Dr. Joseph Warren, the president of the Council and acting head of Massachusetts' revolutionary government. The second was Seth Pomeroy. By the time the battle started the total involved defenders numbered about 1,400 and they faced 2,600 regulars.

The first assaults both on the fence line and the redoubt were met with massed fire at close range and repulsed, with heavy British losses. The reserve, gathering just north of the town, was also taking casualties due to rifle fire from a company in the town. Howe's men reformed on the field and made a second unsuccessful attack at the wall.

The Americans had lost all fire discipline. In traditional battles of the 18th century, companies of men fired, reloaded, and moved on specific orders, as they had been trained. After their initial volley, the Americans all fought as individuals, and every man fired as quickly as he could reload and find a target. The British withdrew almost to their original positions on the peninsula to regroup. The navy, along with artillery from Copp's Hill on the Boston peninsula, fired heated shot into Charlestown. All 400 or so buildings and the docks were completely burned, but the snipers withdrew safely.

The third British assault carried the redoubt, due to a number of factors. The reserves were included. Both flanks concentrated on the redoubt. The Americans ran out of ammunition, reducing the battle to a bayonet fight, and most of the American soldiers' rifles didn't have bayonets.


The British had taken the ground, but at a stiff cost; 1,054 were shot (226 dead and 828 wounded), and a disproportionate number of these were officers. The American losses were only about 450, of whom 140 were killed (including Joseph Warren), and 30 captured {20 of whom died}. Most American losses came during the withdrawal.

British dead and wounded included most of their officers. Of General Howe's entire field staff, he was the only one not shot. Major Pitcairn was dead, and Colonel James Abercrombie fatally wounded. The American withdrawal and British advance swept right through to include the entire peninsula, Bunker Hill as well as Breed's Hill. But the number of Americans to be faced in new positions hastily created by Putnam on the mainland, the end of the day, and the exhaustion of his troops removed any chance Howe had of advancing on Cambridge and breaking the siege.

The attitude of the British was significantly changed, both individually and as a government. Thomas Gage was soon recalled, and would be replaced by General Howe. Howe himself lost the daring he had shown at Louisbourg, and was cautious through the rest of his service. Gage's report to the cabinet repeated his earlier warnings that "a large army must at length be employed to reduce these people" and would require "the hiring of foreign troops."

The famous order, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" was popularized by stories about Bunker Hill. However, it is uncertain as to who said it, since various writers attribute it to Putnam, Stark, Prescott and Gridley. Another reporting uncertainty concerns the role of African-Americans. There were certainly a few involved in the battle, but their exact numbers are unknown. One of these was Salem Poor, who was cited for bravery and whose actions at the redoubt saved Prescott's life, but accounts crediting him with Pitcairn's death are highly doubtful. Other Africian-Americans present were Peter Salem; Prince Whipple; and Brazillari Lew. A mulatto Phillip Abbot of Andover was killed in the battle.

Among the Colonial volunteers in the Battle were James Otis, Henry Dearborn, John Brooks, William Eustis, and William Barton. Among the British Officers were General Henry Clinton, General John Burgoyne, and Lord Francis Rawdon.


USS Bunker Hill (CG 52):


USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) is a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser laid down by Litton-Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula, Mississippi on 11 January 1984, launched on 11 March 1985 and commissioned on 20 September 1986. Bunker Hill operates out of San Diego, California.

Bunker Hill was the first Ticonderoga-class cruiser to be equipped with the Mk. 41 VLS in place of the previous ships' Mk. 26 twin-arm missile launchers, greatly improving the flexibility and firepower of the ships by allowing them to fire RGM-109 Tomahawk missiles.

After commissioning, Bunker Hill entered the Pacific Fleet via the Panama Canal and began short notice work-ups to deploy to the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Bunker Hill made her first deployment in July 1987, nearly one year ahead of schedule during which she provided an anti-air warfare umbrella inside the Persian Gulf for Missouri and other US flagged tankers and ships transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.

In August 1988, Bunker Hill shifted homeports from San Diego to Yokosuka, Japan joining the Midway Carrier Battlegroup for a four month deployment in the Seventh Fleet, for which she was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. She was also awarded her first Battle Efficiency Award.

In November 1990, Bunker Hill sailed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm and served as the multinational Air Warfare Commander (AAWC) and as one of the first ships to launch a Tomhawk Land Attack Cruise Missile against Iraqi targets. Following the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, Bunker Hill participated in organizing and establishing Operation Southern Watch, the complex enforcement of the United Nations established no-fly zone over southern Iraq. Bunker Hill made a historical visit to the Russian city Vladivostok in 1993, and then one year later she made a port visit to Qingdao in the People's Republic of China.

In March 1996, she took station south of Taiwan to monitor missile tests by the People's Liberation Army.

In July 1998, Bunker Hill shifted homeports from Yokosuka, Japan back to San Diego. In Late 2000, Bunker Hill deployed with Abraham Lincoln Battle Group. She again participated in Operation Southern Watch and conducted boardings and inspections of over 40 merchant vessels in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Bunker Hill also escorted Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group while conducting humanitarian operations off East Timor and training exercises in Kuwait. Bunker Hill acted as Air Defense Commander for the ARG where she designed and implemented innovative procedures for CG integration into an Amphibious Ready Group. Following the attack on Cole, Bunker Hill sortied from Bahrain to provide support and protection to seven USN and USNS ships based there and subsequently remained at sea for 67 consecutive days. Bunker Hill returned from deployment in February 2001.

Since her commissioning, Bunker Hill has deployed six times to the Persian Gulf and has earned fifteen Battle "E" Awards, including the Golden Battle "E" in 1996 and 2006 which is given when a ship receives five such awards consecutively.

As announced in March 2006, Lockheed Martin will be upgrading the Aegis defence system on 22 navy vessels; the Bunker Hill is the first slated for the upgrade.

In January 2007, the warship was sent to the coast of Somalia to conduct antiterrorist operations as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower task force.

On 28 February 2008, Bunker Hill was awarded the 2007 Battle "E" award, it's 6th consecutive Battle "E". USS Bunker Hill was also awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation for its role in aiding the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in 2007.



USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - patch crest

USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - patch crest

USS Bunker Hill CG 52 - cruise patch


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