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SSN 710 Augusta

The contract to build SSN 710 was awarded on 10/31/1973 and her keel was laid on 04/01/1982. She was launched on 01/21/1984 and she was commissioned on 01/19/1985.

Augusta departed Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) in February 2003 and deployed across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean and Red Seas. While underway, the submarine launched Tomahawk missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The submarine force accounted for nearly one-third of Tomahawk missiles launched during the war. The USS Augusta returned to SUBASE in mid-August 2003, and was one of the last submarines that supported OIF to return to Groton.

The First Augusta

USS Augusta , a 1310-ton side-wheel steam cruiser, was built at New York in 1852 as the civilian steamer Augusta. She operated on Atlantic and Gulf coast routes until the outbreak of the Civil War. The Navy purchased her at the beginning of August 1861, converted her to a warship and placed her in commission in late September. Augusta's first combat operation was the November 1861 expedition to capture Port Royal, South Carolina. During the shelling of Forts Walker and Beauregard that opened the assault, she helped drive off the local Confederate Navy squadron and later joined in the bombardment. After the forts' surrender, Augusta reestablished the blockade of Savannah, Georgia. Sent to duty off Charleston, S.C., in December, she captured the blockade runners Cheshire on the 6th and Island Belle at year's end.

Augusta remained on the Charleston blockade during the first eight months of 1862, with a few weeks out in June and July to cover Wassau Sound, Georgia. After an overhaul at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she escorted a convoy of Army transports to the Gulf of Mexico and helped to protect shipping between Panama and the U.S. from the threat posed by the Confederate raider Alabama. She returned to the Charleston area in January 1863 and took part in the engagement with the Confederate ironclads Chicora and Palmetto State at the end of that month. In July, Augusta went north, spent a few weeks searching for the enemy cruiser Florida and then decommissioned for extensive repairs at the New York Navy Yard.

Recommissioned in May 1864, Augusta escorted the monitor Tecumseh to Pensacola, Florida, and operated on commerce protection service between the U.S. and Panama. However, continual engine problems finally left her so disabled that she had to be towed home. She was again decommissioned in January 1865 and was under repair for more than a year.

Augusta returned to active service in April 1866, and the next month began a lengthy trans-Atlantic deployment as escort for the monitor Miantonomoh. Between June 1866 and May 1867, the two ships visited European ports ranging from Russia to Italy. They returned to the United States by way of the Canary Islands and the West Indies, arriving at Philadelphia in July. Decommissioned soon thereafter, USS Augusta was sold in December 1868 and subsequently became the merchant steamer Magnolia.

CL 31 / CA 31

USS Augusta, a 9050-ton Northampton class light cruiser, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in January 1931, she spent her first two years in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas, serving as flagship of the Scouting Force during much of this time. She was reclassified as a heavy cruiser in July 1931, receiving the new designator CA-31 at that time. In February 1932, Augusta went to the Pacific and in October 1933 was sent to the Far East to become the Asiatic Fleet's flagship. Over the next seven years she cruised extensively, visiting ports in Japan, the Soviet Union, China, the Philippines, Indo-China, Thailand, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and Australia. After war began between Japan and China in July 1937, Augusta was very active in Chinese waters, protecting American interests and observing the hostilities. In mid-August 1937, while off Shanghai, she was accidently bombed by Chinese aircraft, but suffered no damage or casualties. However, a few days later, another accident, this time involving a Chinese anti-aircraft shell, killed a member of her crew.

Relieved as Asiatic Fleet flagship in November 1940, Augusta returned home for overhaul and modernization. She transited the Panama Canal in April 1941 and became flagship of the Atlantic Fleet early in May. In August, Augusta carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Newfoundland to take part in the conference that produced the Atlantic Charter. For the remainder of 1941 and into 1942, as relations with Germany moved from "short of war" tensions to declared conflict, Augusta continued as fleet flagship, operating in the western Atlantic from Canadian waters to the West Indies.

When U.S. forces invaded Morocco in November 1942, Augusta served as operation flagship and used her eight-inch guns to engage French shore batteries and warships. She escorted a convoy to Scotland in mid-1943 and operated with the British Home Fleet for much of the rest of that year. The cruiser was an active participant in the invasions of Normandy and Southern France in June and August 1944, shelling enemy targets ashore and protecting the amphibious forces from counter-attacks. In July 1945, after the end of the European war, Augusta carried President Harry S Truman across the Atlantic for the Potsdam Conference and brought him back to the U.S. once the meetings were concluded.

Augusta spent November and December 1945 transporting service personnel back to the United States from Europe. Decommissioned in July 1946, she was at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet for the next thirteen years. USS Augusta was sold for scrapping in November 1959.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:00:45 ZULU