CG 68 Anzio
"Stand and Fight"
USS Anzio is ready to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious assault groups and as a traditional maritime interdiction force. USS Anzio can operate in any threat environment. She can defeat hostile surface ships, submarines, and air forces simultaneously, while delivering long range offensive land attacks.
USS Anzio (CG 68) is the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name. She is the twenty-second vessel in the TICONDEROGA class of Aegis cruisers and the fifteenth built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, MS. Her keel was laid on Aug. 24, 1989 and she was launched on Nov. 2, 1990. USS Anzio's sponsor, Mrs. Lee Baggett, wife of Adm. Lee Baggett, Jr., USN (Ret.), christened cruiser Anzio on Nov. 10, 1990. USS Anzio was commissioned in Norfolk, VA, May 2, 1992.
The USS Anzio (CG 68) deployed to the Mediterranean on October 20, 1994, as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group for a six months deployment. During that deployment it took part in operations conducted in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Adriatic Sea and Black Sea. Upon relieving the George Washington Battle Group, "Ike" and its support ships began operations in the Arabian Gulf region which included support for Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Warrior. Steaming into the Adriatic, the battle group participated in peacekeeping and sanctions-enforcement operations including Deny Flight, Provide Promise and Sharp Guard. On the diplomatic front, the battle group helped reaffirm ties with traditional allies and foster new friendships with emerging nations through more than 96 bilateral and multilateral military exercises and exchanges with 20 nations. The USS ANzio returned home in mid-April, 1995.
Following successful live missile firings and testing of the U.S. Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) by the USS Anzio (CG 68) and USS Cape St. George (CG 71), near the AEGIS Combat Systems Center, Wallops Island, VA, the CEC received final approval for fleet tactical use, on September 30, 1996.
The USS Anzio departed on May 23 1997, and took part in Exercise BALTOPS '97 in the Baltic Sea, from June 16 to 27, 1997, joining 47 other ships from 12 European nations in the Partnership for Peace exercise. During that exercise, the USS Anzio (CG 68) served as the flagship, for the Commander of Cruiser Destroyer Group Eight, who commanded the exercise.
As part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG), the USS Anzio, along with the USS Saipan (LHA 2) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), took part in Joint Task Force Exercise 98-2 from April 27 through May 13, 1998. The exercise took place in waters off Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the Puerto Rico operating area. The exercise involves more than 10,000 service members from the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force and incorporated the third in a series of Navy "Fleet Battle Experiments". This particular exercise was called Fleet Battle Experiment Charlie (FBE-C) and featured two amphibious assaults one in Camp Lejeune, NC, and the other at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Following the exercise, the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and USS Supply (AOE 6) were to depart the exercise area and proceed directly on deloyment, thus enabling the Navy to maintain its current tasking of providing a two-carrier presence in the Arabian Gulf. The units were to return home six months after the JTFEX 98-2 start date.
On 26 June 1998, with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Battle Group, the USS Anzio (CG 68) conducted a routine, previously scheduled deployment to the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The Ike Battle Group arrived in the Mediterranean on June 20. Units of the Ike Battle Group participated in 14 exercises during their deployment to the European Theater of operations, including several NATO and multinational exercises throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Cape St. George and USS Anzio operated in the Adriatic sea in support of NATO's operation "Joint Forge", "Deliberate Forge" and the continued Stabilization Force (SFOR) - contributing to the secure environment necessary for the consolidation of peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Whilst deployed with the USS Eisenhower Battle Group for a routine six-month deployment, the USS Anzio took part in a French-sponsored bilateral carrier battle group exercise, FANCY '98, scheduled from September 24-29, 1998, in the Western Mediterranean. Seven ships from the French FS Foch carrier battle group and six ships from the Eisenhower carrier battle group conducted at sea and overland combined air, surface and sub-surface training.
As part of the USS Eisenhower battle group, the USS Anzion participated in a series of increasingly demanding exercises and operations. The training culminated in Joint Task Force Exercise 00-1 held in December 1999. However, because it was unable to complete live-fire training with ground spotters, and thus complete training prior to deploying on February 18, 2000, the USS Anzio had to perform its Naval Surface Fire Support training at the Cape Wrath, Scotland training range. This came as a result of the Navy training range at Vieques, Puerto Rico, being closed since April. The use of the range at Cape Wrath was a unique circumstance demonstrating cooperation with British allies who operate the range. Working through heavy seas and high winds, the USS Anzio, as well as the USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and USS Mahan (DDG 72) was able to complete their training and attain certification in naval surface fire support. The training at Cape Wrath was performed with ground spotters for directing fire. However, the training lacked the coordinated live-fire exercises with Marines ashore, which is a hallmark of the training received at the Navy's Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility range on Vieques. The ships and squadrons were scheduled to return home in August.
In mid-2000, the USS Anzio (CG 68) took part in one of the largest NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) exercises Dynamic Mix 2000. The purpose of Dynamic Mix 2000 was to enhance U.S. military force warfighting and interoperability skills and to develop a common understanding of NATO operational procedures that could apply to future NATO warfighting missions. NATO forces that participated in the operation included military elements from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and England.
In late September 2000, the USS Anzio took part in Underway No. 10", one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common, consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group defenses to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops Island, VA, simulated missile firings from some of the Navy's most technically advanced ships against unmanned drones.
The USS Anzio left its homeport of Norfolk, VA, on May 21, and took part, in the Baltic Sea, in the 29th annual maritime exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2001. With naval vessels and over 40 aircraft of 14 nations taking part, the exercise is intended to improve interoperability with Baltic Sea nations and Partnership for Peace countries by conducting a peace support operation at sea. The operation involved exercises in gunnery, replenishment-at-sea, undersea warfare, radar tracking, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, and maritime interdiction operations. Additionally, the nations conducted personnel exchanges amongst the ships so that officers and sailors could see how their contemporaries from other navies live and operate.
Shield and CrestThe shield's blue and gold are traditional naval colors representing the sea and responsibility, authority, accountability and spirit aboard a warship. Red and white evoke the stars and stripes of the national flag and symbolize the sacrifice of those who fell at the Anzio Beachhead and the principles of liberty and democracy for which they fought. The assault is recalled by the broken chevron thrusting through the enemy line and the tudor rose, maple leaf, and bald eagle honor the armed forces of the three nations that fought together there: Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. The upward thrust of the chevron symbolizes the vertical launchers of cruiser Anzio.
The Embattlements are symbolic of entrenched lines and the extensive campaign ashore during which Allied troops refused defeat despite the enemy's numerical superiority; by holding their ground with uncommon valor, they prevailed. The cross edged weapons are a sailor's cutlass and an officer's dress sword representing combat readiness and the fundamental shipboard teamwork without which victory is not possible. The single gold star commemorates the Navy Unit Commendation to USS Anzio (CVE 57), the escort aircraft carrier subsequently commissioned during World War II, and the nine stars commemorate her battles in that great war.
The crest's anchor, emblematic of ships and the sea, portrays hope reflective that the crew can do only its best, while the rest lay in God's hands. The light blue scroll entwined around the anchor acknowledges the 22 Medal of Honor recipients and the countless unnamed or unrecognized decorations of gallantry and heroism at Anzio Beachhead. The words, Honor, Integrity, Heart, found on this blue Medal of Honor ribbon, combine the essence of what is expected and anticipated of every crew member in USS Anzio. The Aegis radar's gray octagonal shape characterizes USS Anzio's potent weaponry and her unmatched air, surface, and subsurface war fighting technology. The wings of the eagle in flight recall the first USS Anzio (CVE 57) and also represent the attributes associated with America's national emblem; vigilance, preparedness, and courage in the face of the foe.
The ship's motto is "Stand and Fight" and was the order given by Lieutenant General Clark to the embattled Allies at Anzio.
USS Anzio (CVE-57)
On the morning of 27 August, 1943, the vessel that would eventually bear the name USS Anzio (CVE-57) was commissioned USS CORAL SEA (CVE-57). She was the third CASABLANCA Class escort aircraft carrier built by Kaiser Shipbuilding of Vancover Washington. CVE-57 joined the Pacific Fleet in late October 1943 and sailed from Pearl Harbor on 10 November, 1943 into Western Pacific and combat. Her aircraft flew missions in support of the amphibious landiings at Gilbert, Marshall, and Marianas Islands and New Guinea.
In October 1944, after returning to Pearl Harbor for maintenance, CVE-57 sailed with a new name. The Navy Department recognized the significance of the Anzio Campaign in Europe and renamed CVE-57, Anzio in conjunction with the christening of the carrier Coral Sea (CV-42). USS Anzio left Pearl Harbor with a new mission: anti-submarine warfare. Her task unit included five destroyer escorts, which with sonar and the support of Anzio's aircraft were to sanitize the amphibious assault groups from Japanese submarines. Anzio pioneered an around-the-clock anti-submarine air patrol which resulted in her enviable record in this mission area. In addition to sub-hunting operations, USS Anzio provided direct support for the amphibious landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
When hostilities came to a close in August 1945, Anzio was supporting the Third Fleet by sweeping fueling lanes of Japanese submarines. Anzio sailed for San Francisco where she was quickly outfitted with maximum passenger accomodations for service in Admiral Kendall's "Operation Magic Carpet"; the huge logistical movement that brought American servicemen home from the front. Anzio made three rounds trips from San Francisco to the Western Pacific fulfilling this mission.
Anzio was decommissioned on 5 August 1946, and became a member of the Atlantic Fleet Reserve in Norfolk, Virgrina. Anzio was struck from the Navy records on 1 March, 1959 and sold to the Naster Medals Company on 24 November, 1959.
During the war, USS Anzio (CVE-57) shot down 12 aircraft and her air wing had 19 confirmed kills. Four Japanese submarines were confirmed sunk and two more probably sunk. 20,000 tons of various Japanese shipping and inestimable number of targerts ashore were destroyed by Anzio aircraft. Anzio ferried 4000 troops home from the Western Pacicfic. USS Anzio (CVE-57) sailed 180,000 miles during her active service. She earned nine Battle Stars and a Navy Unit "Commendation; upholding the fact that she sailed proud while in "harms way.
The Battle of Anzio
In late 1943, the Allied campaign to liberate Italy from the hands of the Germans was at a stalemate along the "Gustav Line," a natural stronghold of mountainous terrain stretching across the country just north of Naples.
Gen. Mark Clark, commanding the American Fifth Army, ordered amphibious assaults on the beachheads at Anzio and Nettuno, north of the Gustav Line, to clear the road to Rome. Forty thousand Allied troops of the American Fifth Army, Sixth Corps and the British First Infantry Division were landed on Jan. 22, 1944.
After initial success, the Allies were pinned down on the beachhead by a vastly superior German force. The Germans eventually committed 80,000 additional troops to the Italian campaign to "push the Allies back into the sea".
Through sheer bravery and heroism, the Allies held the beachhead. Finally, with long awaited reinforcements, the Allies broke out in late May and ultimately marched victoriously into Rome, the Eternal City, in June 1944.
The strategic importance of the Battle of Anzio in the liberation of Italy is well documented. The campaign's contribution to the overall Allied effort in Europe, however, is often underestimated. The two German corps engaged on the Anzio front were originally destined for Normandy. The success of the Allied landings on the beaches in France in June 1944 were due largely to the tenacity of the Allied forces at Anzio.
But the price of this crucial victory was high. Allied forces suffered nearly 28,000 casualties. In one measure of the courage and sacrifice of those who fought there, 22 Americans were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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