CG 59 is the sixth in a proud line of U.S. Navy ships to honor the name
PRINCETON. The first vessel named PRINCETON was a sloop of war,
commissioned in 1843. She was the first Navy vessel to be powered by a
steam driven screw. On February 28, 1844, while demonstrating a new
type of cannon to the President and numerous dignitaries, ten people
were killed when the cannon burst. Among the casulties were the
Secretary of State and two senators. The ship was decommissioned in
The second PRINCETON was an armed transport and training ship,
commissioned in 1852, and in service until 1866. The third vessel named
for the Battle of Princeton was a composite gunboat which was
commissioned in 1898. She served in the Far East and off Nicaragua, and
was decommissioned in 1919.
The fourth PRINCETON was the INDEPENDENCE class aircraft carrier CVL
23, commissioned in 1943. Her battle record included raids on Tarawa,
Bougainville, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Battle of
Phillipine Sea. She was sunk in a fierce battle off Surigao Straits in
1944. Among the awards she received were the Asiatic-Pacific Area
Campaign Ribbon with 9 battle stars, and the Republic of the
Phillippines Presidential Unit Citation.
The fifth PRINCETON was an ESSEX Class aircraft carrier, CV 37. The
ship was already in construction when CLV 23 was sunk, and name
PRINCETON was given to the new replacement. Commissioned just after the
end of World War II in 1945, she was re-classed in 1950 as CVA 37. The
ship earned the Navy Unit Commendation and 8 battle stars in the Korean
War. In 1954, she was re-classed as an amphibious assault ship, LPH 5.
She served off the coast of Vietnam conducting support missions for the
U.S. Marines, which earned her a Meritorius Unit Commendation. She was
also the primary recovery ship for APOLLO TEN. The fifth PRINCETON was
decommissioned in 1970.
The sixth PRINCETON was commissioned in 1989 in Pascagoula, MS and has
completed three deployments to the Arabian Gulf and won two consecutive
Battle Efficiency Awards in 1992-1993.
USS PRINCETON is the sixth ship to bear this name and was commissioned
in 1989 in Pascagoula, MS. It won two consecutive Battle Efficiency
Awards in 1992-1993.
USS PRINCETON underwent a complete overhaul and modernization from
mid-June 1999 to the end of March 2000. The overhaul was performed in
Southwest Marine Inc.'s San Diego yard.
USS PRINCETON set sail from San Diego on 27 July 2001, headed west
towards the Arabian Gulf in company with the other ships of the CARL
VINSON Battle Group. PRINCETON's mission was to provide maritime
support for Operation Southern Watch. As a result of September 11,
2001, USS PRINCETON was assigned duties as Air Defense Commander for
Task Force 50, which encompasses all Navy and coalition forces
operating in the Arabian Gulf and the North Arabian Sea. The USS
ENTERPRISE Battle Group, along with Carrier Air Wing 8, diverted from
their homeward transit and headed back towards the North Arabian Sea as
the PRINCETON north through the Indian Ocean to join them. Several days
later, the USS KITTY HAWK was underway from Japan. Within two weeks,
USS PRINCETON was assigned to Operation Enduring Freedom.
USS PRINCETON's primary duty throughout deployment was providing air
defense for all the ships in the task force, which at one point,
included four carriers, three air wings and one ARG. With this came the
responsibility of managing over 1500 square miles of airspace in which
every type of aircraft from Navy F/A-18 Hornets to Air Force AWACS to
British Nimrods operated on a daily basis. Additionally, the ship was
called on to launch missiles, conduct boarding operations, and
surveillance tasking. At night, the ships's gas turbine engines roared
to full power to maintain precise station 2,000 yards off the CARL
VINSON’s starboard quarter in "planeguard" station. She
returned to San Diego on January 19, 2002, after 111 consecutive days
on station in the North Arabian Sea.
The shields thirteen red
and white stripes around the edge are from a flag of the revolution and
stand for the union of the colonies. A profile of George Washington is
at the center; his leadership was the essence of the victory at
Princeton in 1777. The smaller shield which bears Washingtons profile
represents the defense of our country, then and now. The golden anchor
symbolizes the nations proud heritage as a seagoing power.
The Crest: The crests upward
thrust of the trident symbolizes the vertical launching system of the
new USS Princeton, and the interlaced lightning bolts represent its
quick striking ability. The three times of the trident stand for the
ships multi-mission warfighting capabilities: anti-air, antisubmarine,
and surface/strike warfare. The semi-octagonal background shape is a
representation of the ships SPY-1B radar arrays and emphasizes the
revolutionary capabilities of the AEGIS Combat System. The five stars
represent the previous US Navy ships which bore the name PRINCETON.
Motto: The ships motto is derived
from a letter written on November 15, 1781, by George Washington to the
Marquis de Lafayette in which he wrote: "It follows then as certain as
night succeeds day, that without a decisive naval force we can do
nothing definitive, and that with it everything honorable and
glorious." It is from this quotation that the ships motto "HONOR AND
GLORY" is derived.