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CG 60 Normandy
"Vanguards of Victory"

The mission of the USS Normandy is two-fold. First, to prevent the employment of weapons against friendly forces by destroying enemy missiles, aircraft, submarines and surface ships. Second, to conduct offensive actions against the enemy through the employment of long range anti-ship and land attack missiles, and through naval gunfire support.

Commissioned 9 December 1989, USS Normandy (CG 60) is the third Bath, ME, built Aegis cruiser and the 14th ship of the Ticonderoga-class. Normandy is named after the allied invasion of Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. The armada that conducted the invasion consisted of 702 warships protecting 9000 ships and landing craft and preceded by 25 minesweeper flotillas. The invasion shifted the tide of WWII in favor of the allies. The crew calls Normandy the "Vanguard of Victory" and themselves Vanguardsmen.

Just one year after her commissioning in Newport, RI, USS Normandy sailed into action in order to support the multinational effort to free Kuwait. Normandy and her crew left on 28 December 1990 to join United Nations forces conducting OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. As part of the USS AMERICA CARRIER BATTLE GROUP, Normandy transited the Suez Canal and the Red Sea on her way to the Arabian Gulf. Normandy fired 26 Tomahawk cruise missiles, protected allied ships and aircraft in the area, conducted maritime interdiction operations, and helped to locate and destroy enemy mines.

USS Normandy received the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal (with two bronze stars) for her efforts in support of OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.

On 11 August 1993, USS Normandy and the USS AMERICA CARRIER BATTLE GROUP deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of United Nations efforts with the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. Normandy's primary duty was Adriatic air-space controller for OPERATIONS PROVIDE PROMISE, DENY FLIGHT, and SHARP GUARD.

In a historic first, Normandy embarked 9 WWII veterans on 18 May 1994 for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Allied landings on the coast of France. These activities took place in Portsmouth, United Kingdom, and Le Havre, France. Over 15,000 visitors toured the ship while Normandy's honor guard embarked veterans participated in various memorial services and events on both sides of the English Channel. USS Normandy served as a centerpiece over the two week course of ceremonies, and specifically for national commemorations at Slapton Sands, United Kingdom on 31 May by U.S. Ambassador Crowe, and at the Normandy beach heads on 6 June by President Clinton. Normandy received the Navy Unit Commendation Medal in June for participation in the D-Day festivities.

On June 27, 1994, USS Normandy participated in the Naval Station, New York closing ceremonies. Staten Island's mayor, Guy Molinari, and his daughter Congresswoman Susan Molinari were the featured speakers as the Navy turned the base over to the city's Emergency Services prior to departing for their new homeport in Norfolk, VA. Normandy was stationed in Staten Island, New York for almost four years.

On August 28, 1995, USS Normandy began a six month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with the USS America. On September 8th, Normandy was in the Western Mediterranean conducting turnover with the outgoing Battlegroup. Receiving immediate tasking to proceed at best speed to the Adriatic, Normandy sped across the 1600 Nautical miles at maximum speed. Arriving in the OPERATION DELIBERATE FORCE Theater of Operations in just under 48 hours, Normandy launched a thirteen missile Tomahawk strike against hostile air defense command and control sites in Northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. This precision strike, flawlessly executed on extreme short notice, paved the way for follow-on tactical air strikes against Bosnian Serb Military positions in the region. This action sent a strong signal of United States resolve and played a significant role in convincing the Bosnian-Serb government to cease hostilities and resume peace negotiations.

During the six month deployment Normandy again served as Adriatic air-space controller for OPERATIONS DENY FLIGHT, SHARP GUARD, and DECISIVE ENDEAVOR. Normandy was awarded her third Navy Unit Commendation and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for her actions during her time in the Adriatic.

On 3 October 1997, Normandy once again began a six month deployment. This time, as Air Defense Commander of the USS George Washington Battlegroup. Throughout the month of October, Normandy participated, along with 27 other international units, in EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR off the Egyptian coast. Upon completion of BRIGHT STAR, Normandy was directed to proceed at best speed to the Arabian Gulf. Beginning November 16th, Normandy, along with other units of the George Washington Battlegroup, transited the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea. In a record-setting five days, Normandy and George Washington entered the Arabian Gulf and joined the Nimitz Battlegroup in an impressive show of force and United Nation resolve with Iraq. Immediately, Normandy assumed the duties as the "Ready Strike" platform in the Gulf and, later, also assumed the duties as the air-defense commander for the entire Arabian Gulf. For four months Normandy patrolled the Gulf in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH. During this time, she conducted several successful maritime-interception operations along with her strike and air-defense duties. Throughout her most recent deployment, Normandy achieved more than 300 mishap free hours of flight operations, conducted 27 underway replenishments, prepared 720 meals for her crew, and sailed a total of 48,000 miles. Underway for the holidays Normandy hosted pop singer Paula Cole on the 23rd of December and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm Jay Johnson, along with his wife and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, ETCM John Hagan, on Christmas morning. Normandy was relieved by the John C. Stennis Battlegroup in and returned to her homeport in Norfolk on April 3, 1998. Normandy then underwent a major overhaul period in Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

As of mid-1998, along with the title "Most Tomahawks shot by a U.S. Navy Cruiser", USS Normandy (CG 60) held three Battle "E" Awards for overall ship-wide excellence in performance. She is the first U.S. warship since 1945 to go to war (DESERT STORM) on her maiden cruise.

The USS Normandy deployed with the USS Washington Battle Group in February 2000 for a scheduled six months deployement. In March 2000, with the USS Washington Battle Group, it took part in a Composite Training Exercise (COMTUEX). The USS Normandy (CG 60) took part in a Joint Task Force Exercise in the Atlantic Ocean in May 2000. It took part in firing trainig on the training range on Vieques, Puerto Rico, in June 2000. It Transited through the Suez Canal enroute to the Red Sea in mid-July.

Ships and aircraft of the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range in conjunction with their Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX). The exercise, which began April 1, 2002, also utilized the Northern and Southern Puerto Rican Operating Areas and involved complex battle group training events, naval surface fire support training and air-to-ground bombing. COMPTUEX is an intermediate level battle group exercise designed to forge the Battle Group into a cohesive, fighting team.

Ship Shield and Crest

The shield's lettering, lion, anchor, and perimeter of the shield are gold. The border beneath the lettering and the crest background are dark blue. These are the color traditionally associated with the Navy. The caltraps symbolize mines and German defenses on the Normandy beaches. The anchor characterizes sea power and strength. The chevron is broken and thrust forward, denoting the assault landing and the "breaking through" the enemy defenses; it is white for honor and integrity, edged with red for valor, sacrifice, and bloodshed.

The crest's pole star signifies the Allied Forces that joined for the Normandy Invasion. It also portrays the four points of the globe, signifying the worldwide mission of the Normandy. The gold lion, adopted from the Coat of Arms of Normandy, France, represents the location of the assault and characterizes the courage, strength, and determination of the invasion forces. He grasps an inflamed trident in honor of Neptune, mythological lord of the sea, and code name for the Navy's crucial gunfire support and the delivery of land forces in the Battle of Normandy.

The words, "VANGUARD OF VICTORY," underscore the Battle of Normandy as the spearhead of the Allied defense which turned the tide of war in Europe, as well as the leading role of the AEGIS cruiser in today's world as a defender of world freedom.

The Battle Of Normandy

USS Normandy is the first ship to honor the battle in northern France, fought in the summer of 1944, in which Allied forces gained a foothold on Europe in preparation for the final defeat of Nazi Germany. The Battle of Normandy opened on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and continued into August, when Allied armies broke into the French interior.

On the morning of June 5th, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff faced a difficult decision. Lack of beaching craft had already forced a one month delay in their timetable. Now, a storm raged over the English Channel. The "window" for a June invasion, when the moon and tides would favor the attackers, closed on the 7th. A day of moderate weather was predicted for the 6th. To invade now risked the 2.8 million invaders to the elements; to wait meant another month of German preparations and possible compromise. At 0415, the supreme Allied Commander made his decision with a brief, "O.K. We'll go".

In Normandy, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the German area commander, knew that he lacked a strong defense. Although millions of mines had been sown, the "Atlantic Wall" was full of holes. Further, he had few quality troops, could expect little air support, and exercised no control over the vital Panzer units, the only forces able to break up an invasion. Never-theless, he intended to meet the assault on the beaches and hurl the Allies back into the sea. He rightly predicted that it would be the "Longest Day".

Early on the morning of June 6, elements of three airborne divisions jumped into the black sky above Normandy. They were tasked with securing the flanks of the invasion beaches - two American, two British and one Canadian - by capturing bridges and communication centers, as well as by engaging the local defenders. Due to cloudy skies and heavy anti-aircraft fire, the gliders and paratroops were dispersed over a large area. Some men drowned in the Channel or in swamps behind the beaches. Others dropped directly into the fire of the fully alerted German garrison at Ste. Mere Eglise. Yet, by nightfall, most of their objectives had been achieved.

The invasion convoys, carrying the combat teams of six infantry divisions, sailed on the night of June 5-6 from a dozen English ports, escorted by seven battleships, twenty-three cruisers one hundred destroyers and more than one thousand smaller naval vessels. The cross-ing was uneventful, and all four thousand lan-ding craft were in position by first light.

At 0530, the fleet opened fire on the beaches. For the next hour, as soldiers boarded their assault craft and started their run-ins, tons of steel thundered above them. Simultaneously, thousands of aircraft roared overhead, bombing and strafing German positions on, and just behind, the beaches. As encouraging as this display was, little actual damage was done. Then, at H-hour, 0630, the bombardment ceased and the first assault wave hit the beaches.

At Utah, a strong current pushed the 4th division a mile south of their intended beaches. This turned to their advantage, however, as few defenders guarded the area. Coupled with the confusion caused by the 82ND and 101ST divisions, the 4TH was established ashore by nightfall, with fewer than two hundred casualties.

Omaha was different story. The beach was backed by a steep cliff, and the 1ST and 29TH divisions were opposed by the veteran 352ND Germany Infantry Division. Late morning found the Americans pinned down on the beach with more than one thousand casualties. Seeing this, Navy destroyers closed in to less than one mile off shore. Dodging return fire, and sometimes scraping bottom, these ships blasted one German position after another and enabled V Corps to move inland.

The British sector was the sight of the only German Naval counterattack of the day, when three E-boats fired a spread of torpedoes at the battleships Warspite and Ramillies. The big ships avoided being hit, but the Norwegian destroyer Svenner was sunk. On the beaches, the British and Canadians encountered stiff, if spotty resistance on Gold, Juno and Sword, and made the greatest D-Day gains.

By midnight on the 6th, the Allies held a beachhead, however tenuous, on the continent. Victory was less than a year away. In testament to the Navy's participation during the invasion, Major General L.T. Gerow, V Corps Commander, sent a message to the Commander of the First U.S. Army, General Omar Bradley, stating, "thank God for the United States Navy".

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:46:03 ZULU