SSBN 735 Pennsylvania
The first Trident submarine to change homeports to Bangor in more than 15 years pulled into port at Marginal Pier Oct. 17, 2002. The Gold crew of USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) piloted the ship from its former homeport, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., to Bangor in about 80 days.
Pennsylvania was the first of two boats to come to Bangor from the East Coast with D-5 capabilities. USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) was to follow it later that same yeat. The plan over time was for Pennsylvania and Kentucky to help even out the fleet after the four oldest Bangor Tridents leave for Sub-surface Guided Nuclear conversion.
The Blue crew then took over the ship for the refit process to prepare it for its first Pacific deterrent patrol.
The First Pennsylvania
As a Ship of the Line, the first USS Pennsylvania represented the might of a new nation. Approved by Congress in April of 1816, Pennsylvania was designed and built by Samuel Humphreys in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Specified to carry no fewer than 74 guns, her ports numbered 136. With four gun decks she was the largest sailing warship ever built for the U.S. Navy. Construction began in 1821, but was delayed due to budget restrictions (History does repeat itself!). Pennsylvania was commissioned in 1837 and served in numerous capacities until 1861. In that year she was burned to the waterline to prevent her capture by the Confederacy.
The Second Pennsylvania
The name Pennsylvania sailed again in 1901 as the Armored Cruiser 4. Sailing from Philadelphia, she ushered in a new era of naval aviation by launching and retrieving an aircraft on her afterdeck. The name of Armored Cruiser 4 would soon be changed to Pittsburgh to make way for a new and larger Pennsylvania.
The battleship Pennsylvania (BB 38) was commissioned into naval service in 1916. She quickly became known for her power and high standard of excellence. She served in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, acting as a flagship and embarking such dignitaries as President Woodrow Wilson, Vice President Thomas Marshall, and various Cabinet members. Dry-docked in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, Pennsylvania was one of the first ships to provide defensive fire against the attacking Japanese torpedo planes and bombers. Following repairs in San Francisco, she returned to service in the Aleutian and Pacific campaigns. A Japanese torpedo plane attack removed her from active service and she became a target ship for atomic tests at Bikini Atoll until decommissioning in 1946. She received 8 battlestars for her service during WWII.
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