SSN 707 Portsmouth
USS PORTSMOUTH (SSN 707) was commissioned on 1 October 1983 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Shortly thereafter, she visited Portsmouth Virginia.
In service for only three weeks, PORTSMOUTH was called upon to support the rescue operations in Grenada. For her role in the rescue, the ship was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
Upon completion of a 14 week Post Shakedown Availability in August 1984 she transited the Panama Canal and arrived in her new homeport of San Diego, California on 22 October 1984. PORTSMOUTH has conducted three extended deployments and three mini-deployments to the Western Pacific since 1985. She was awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations for operations conducted in 1987, 1989 and 1993, the Silver Anchor Award for excellence in retention for 1987, the Engineering Red "E" for 1994, the Supply Blue "E" for 1994 and the Battle Efficiency "E" award for 1988, 1989 and 1994.
In February 1991, PORTSMOUTH entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for a Depot Modernization Period. Upon completion of extensive engineering and weapons systems upgrading, PORTSMOUTH returned to San Diego and commenced operations attached to Commander, Submarine Squadron Three.
In 1993 PORTSMOUTH deployed to the Western Pacific with the USS LINCOLN Battle Group. During this time she pioneered new methods of Special Warfare which were put to the test when she conducted an insertion of Army Rangers at night during a Joint Exercise.
PORTSMOUTH has been involved in the live firing of exercise torpedoes and missiles and in the testing of the Navy's new Mine Avoidance sonar. In March 1985, PORTSMOUTH transferred to Commander, Submarine Squadron Eleven.
USS Portsmouth returned home to San Diego Feb. 11, 2004 following a successful six-month Western Pacific deployment. Upon their return, Portsmouth was awarded the 2003 Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Tactical White 'T,' Communications Green 'C' and the Damage Control Red 'DC.' While on deployment, Portsmouth conducted operations throughout the Western Pacific. The submarine steamed nearly 36,000 nautical miles and successfully accomplished three missions of great significance to national security for which they were awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal (two awards). They also participated in various exercises with U.S. assets and allied countries, and enjoyed port visits in Guam; Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Chinhae, South Korea; Singapore; and Oahu, Hawaii.
The active service of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Portsmouth (SSN 707) came to an end during an inactivation ceremony on Sept. 10, 2004, at Pier 3, on Norfolk Naval Station. Homeported in San Diego, Portsmouth completed its 21-year career with eight extended deployments and three mini-deployments in the Western Pacific theatre of operations. Even at the end, Portsmouth Sailors continued to impress others with their drive and dedication.
During her 20 years in service, Portsmouth earned six Meritious Unit Commendations, five Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") awards, a Navy Expeditionary Medal, and various awards recognizing the performance by its crew. Her last six-month western deployment was completed in February 2004 and she then traveled to the Gulf of Alaska in June to participate in Exercise Northern Edge.
The First Portsmouth
The first PORTSMOUTH was a small warship built for the new United States Navy in 1798 by James K. Hackett, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with funds contributed by the citizens of Portsmouth. Commanded by Captain Daniel McNeil, PORTSMOUTH operated in the West Indies during the naval war with France in the squadron commanded by Commodore John Barry. In 1800, she sailed to France to bring back the United States envoys who had concluded peace negotiations with that country. After a second cruise in the Caribbean, PORTSMOUTH was sold at Baltimore in 1801.
The Second Portsmouth
The second PORTSMOUTH, a wooden sloop-of-war, was launched at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Navy yard on 23 October 1843, and commissioned on 10 November 1844. Commander John B. Montgomery was in command. PORTSMOUTH sailed on 25 January 1845 for the Mexican coast, where she was engaged in monitoring the movements of British vessel. After the declaration of war with Mexico on 26 April 1846, she shifted to the Pacific and until 1848 cruised off the coasts of California and Mexico. Returning to Boston in May 1848, she departed again on 29 August and sailed east to the African coast. There until 1 February 1849, she patrolled with Royal Navy ships to suppress the slave trade. Between September 1849 and May 1851, she again cruised off the West African coast, returning to Boston on 26 June. The next three years saw PORTSMOUTH in the Pacific where she participated in the engagement with the Barrier Forts. In 1878, PORTSMOUTH was decommissioned as a cruiser and was assigned as a training ship. She was struck from the Navy list on 17 April 1915 and was subsequently sold.
The third PORTSMOUTH (CL 102) was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia, on 28 June 1943, launched on 20 September 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Marian M. Dale and Mrs. Sarah B. Leigh, and commissioned 25 June 1945 with Captain Herbert B. Brumbaugh in command. During a shakedown cruise in July 1945, the capitulation of Japan was announced, thereby ending PORTSMOUTH's prospect of taking her place as a fighting unit of the Pacific Fleet. The celebration onboard was so enthusiastic that the ship's bell cracked under the strain. Later that year, the ship participated in the Navy Day celebration in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. During her ten-day stay, some 22,000 persons streamed onboard to inspect the ship and witness the many phases of work and life onboard. The ship found there a welcome of rare enthusiasm which symbolized the warm interest of the American people in their Navy. On 9 March 1949, she entered the Philadelphia Naval shipyard for inactivation overhaul. Decommissioned 15 June 1949, she joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and into 1970 remained a unit of that fleet, berthed at Philadelphia.
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