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General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia About the Ship's Coat of Arms Accidents aboard USS Princeton History About the Name "Princeton" Patch Gallery Image Gallery to end of page

USS Princeton (CG 59)

USS PRINCETON is the 13th TICONDEROGA class guided missile cruiser and the 11th ship of that class built by Ingalls. USS PRINCETON is the sixth ship in the Navy to bear this name.

General Characteristics: Awarded: December 16, 1983
Keel laid: October 15, 1986
Launched: October 2, 1987
Commissioned: February 11, 1989
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
Propellers: two
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: two 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. 340 Enlisted


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS PRINCETON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

( Click on the coat of arms for a larger version )

The Shield:

The shield’s 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 Washington’s profile represents the defense of our country, then and now. The golden anchor symbolizes the nation’s proud heritage as a seagoing power.

The Crest:

The crest’s 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 ship’s multi-mission warfighting capabilities: anti-air, antisubmarine, and surface/strike warfare. The semi-octagonal background shape is a representation of the ship’s 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.

The Motto:

The ship’s 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 ship’s motto "HONOR AND GLORY" is derived.


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Accidents aboard USS PRINCETON:

DateWhereEvents
February 18, 1991Persian Gulf
(off Faylaka Island)
During Operation Desert Storm USS PRINCETON provided air defense for a MCM group including the USS AVENGER (MCM 1), USS LEADER (MSO 490), USS TRIPOLI (LPH 10) and other Naval Forces.

During the sweeping of Iraqi mines, USS TRIPOLI hit a moored contact mine in 30 meters of water.

USS AVENGER and USS LEADER attempted to assist the damaged warship while USS PRINCETON still provided air defense.

At 0715 USS PRINCETON hit a Manta mine in 16 meters of water. A sympathetic actuation of another mine about 350 yards from USS PRINCETON occurred about three seconds later. These mine blasts caused substantial damage to USS PRINCETON, including a cracked superstructure, severe deck buckling, and a damaged propeller shaft and rudder.

As damage control teams overcame fires and flooding aboard USS TRIPOLI and USS PRINCETON, the minesweepers USS IMPERVIOUS (MSO 449), USS LEADER, and USS AVENGER searched for additional mines in the area. The minesweeper USS ADROIT (MSO 509) led the salvage ship USS BEAUFORT (ATS 2) toward USS PRINCETON; USS BEAUFORT then towed the damaged warship to safety.

USS PRINCETON restored her TLAM strike and Aegis AAW capabilities within two hours of the mine strike and reassumed duties as the local AAW commander, providing air defense for the Coalition MCM group for 30 additional hours until relieved by the USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50).

A few crewmembers suffered injuries as a resut of the mine blasts.

In recognition of the superior and arduous work the crew put in to keep the ship in war-fighting status, USS PRINCETON and crew were awarded a Combat Action Ribbon.


The photos below show the damage aboard the PRINCETON.


September 13, 2005Persian Gulf
A USS PRINCETON crew member is found missing and is presumed lost at sea.


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Short History of USS PRINCETON:

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.


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About the Ship's Name, about the Battle of Princeton:

On January 3, 1776, the Battle of Princeton took place during the War of Independence. In the Battle of Trenton that took place on December 26, 1776, the troops under General George Washington defeated the British-Hessian troops. One week later the British under General Charles Cornwallis moved forward along the Delaware River against the troops of Washington. At the morning of January 3, 1777, Washington moved forward to Princeton where he beat a British department that wanted to move to Cornwallis. Cornwallis moved his troops to Brunswick, NJ. After the British defeat the American self-confidence increased.

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USS PRINCETON Patch Gallery:

WestPac 1990WestPac 2003 - HSL-47 Det. 5


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The photos below were taken by William Chiu when PRINCETON visited Hong Kong on May 12, 1991.



The photos below were taken by me and show the PRINCETON passing downtown San Diego, Calif., after departing from Naval Base San Diego. The photos were taken on March 23, 2010.



The photos below were taken by me and show the PRINCETON at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on March 15, 2012.



The photo below was taken by me and shows the PRINCETON at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on October 11, 2012.



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