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SSN 766 Charlotte

The nuclear-powered attack submarine Charlotte is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. The first CHARLOTTE was a 70 ton schooner used by the Confederate forces in the Civil War. The ship was captured by Union forces off Mobile, Alabama in April 1862 and joined the Union Navy in November of the same year. The schooner Charlotte served in the West Gulf Blockade Squadron and was sold five years later in Pensacola, Florida.

The cruiser NORTH CAROLINA, commissioned in 1908, was renamed CHARLOTTE in June 1920 to allow for a new battleship which was to be christened NORTH CAROLINA. CHARLOTTE had a short and relatively peaceful career. After shakedown, the ship carried President-elect William H. Taft on an inspection trip to the Panama Canal, then made a Mediterranean cruise. While serving as a station ship in Pensacola, the cruiser became the first ship in history to launch an aircraft by catapult while underway. The cruiser CHARLOTTE was decomissioned in 1921, and the name stricken from the rolls in 1930.

The third ship to bear the name CHARLOTTE was manned by the Coast Guard during World War Two. Designated as a patrol frigate (PF-60), CHARLOTTE served as a weather observation station off the coast of Newfoundland, and also assisted in rescuing downed pilots. CHARLOTTE was decomissioned at Norfolk, Virginia in 1946.

CHARLOTTE (SSN 766) was christened on October 3, 1992 at Newport News Shipbuilding by Mrs. Mary McCormack, the ship's sponsor. Charlotte was commisioned on September 16, 1994 at Norfolk, Virginia.

Charlotte returned from sea in May 2003 after completing an operational evaluation for the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) after many months of at-sea training. The ASDS is a mini combatant submersible that rides piggyback onboard a Los Angeles class submarine. The ASDS allows navy SEALs and Special Operations Forces (SOF) to be clandestinely inserted into areas of interest in a dry environment, minimizing their exposure time in a wet environment. USS Charlotte is one of only two host submarines.

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