SSBN 743 Lousiana
The submarine USS LOUISIANA (SSBN 743) is the fourth U.S. Naval vessel to be named in honor of the eighteenth state admitted into the union, and eighteenth and last Trident Submarine to be commissioned.
The crest of the USS Louisiana recalls the proud traditions of the people of the state of Louisiana and the three previous ships to bear her name. In understanding the symbolism of this crews the crew is reminded of their special bond to the people and history of Louisiana, and the heroic tradition of the naval veterans who have gone before them. To others, the crest will serve as a proud statement that the crew carries forward those traditions in faithful and excellent service.
The gold braid encircling the seal represents eternal commitment of the crew to the values of pride, patriotism, honor, and tradition.
The 18 stars surrounding the crews identify Louisiana as the 18th state of the Union and the USS Louisiana as the 18th Trident submarine.
The Pelican is shown protecting her young with outstretched wings. The state bird, as legend has it, is the only bird known to give its own flesh to feed its young when it is unable to find food. This also signifies the mission of the ship and crew to defend, at all costs, the freedoms and values that America holds dear.
The USS Louisiana is sworn to defend the red, white, and blue of our proud nation, and carries the gold, white and blue of the state of Louisiana to recall her origins. Additionally, the dark blue and gold traditionally associated with the United States Navy represent excellence and the sea, and distinguish the two crews of the Louisiana.
Striking in its appearance, the bow-on perspective of the modern Trident submarine is unmistakable. Bold and steadfast, it serves as a warning of the ship's resolute commitment to defending freedom.
The four stars indicate that this is the fourth ship to bear the name. The laurel is symbolic of each crew member's commitment to service with honor to his country and ship. The tridents symbolize naval weaponry, both past and present, and sea prowess. Their bottom spikes pierce the state motto, anchoring it, while pointing toward the ocean depths where the ship patrols.
An iris with three petals was once the armorial emblem of French sovereigns, and it is often used as a symbol of the state of Louisiana. Here it represents the French influence on the state of Louisiana.
The banner with the inscription "Union, Justice, and Confidence" proclaims the state motto. Wrapping the banner around the ship symbolizes the crew's strong esprit de corps with the people of the state of Louisiana.
The crawfish is symbolic of the rich and unique cultural heritate of the proud people of the state of Louisiana.
The First Louisiana
The first LOUISIANA, a sloop built in New Orleans in 1812, played a vital role in the defense of New Orleans during the war of 1812. From December 23, 1814 to January 8, 1815, the sloop LOUISIANA pounded advancing British troops, providing naval gunfire support for General Jackson's troops, and was credited with playing a key role in the defeat of the British and keeping the valuable port of New Orleans in American hands.
The Second Louisiana
The second LOUISIANA, a sidewheel steamer, was commissioned in August, 1861. Originally assigned to the Unions's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, LOUISIANA operated along the Virginia Coast against Confederate blockade runners. LOUISIANA was involved in the defense of Washington, D.C. in December of 1862, where Maj. Gen. John J. Foster reported that LOUISIANA " had rendered most efficient aid, throwing their shells with great precision, and clearing the streets, through which her guns had range." She later was involved in numerous engagements off the coast and in the rivers of North Carolina. The second LOUISIANA was sacrificed on Christmas Eve, 1864, when she was towed, stripped and laden with explosives, to the base of FT. Fisher in Wilmington, NC, and detonated in an attempt destroy the fort with minimum loss of life. The explosion had little effect, and it took Union forces several more weeks to capture this important Confederate stronghold.
The battleship LOUISIANA (BB-19) was the third ship bear the name. Commissioned on June 2, 1906, LOUISIANA was soon called on to provide her services, and was sent to Havana with a Peace Commission at the request of the Cuban president for help in suppressing an insurrection. In November of 1906, LOUISIANA embarked President Theodore Roosevelt for a cruise to inspect construction progress of the Panama Canal. On December 16, 1907, LOUISIANA departed Hampton Roads as one of the 16 Battleships of the "Great White Fleet", sent on an around the world cruise by President Roosevelt as a means of deterring hostile action toward the United States and displaying to the world America's ability as a global naval power. This cruise took a little over a year, returning to Hampton Roads on February 22, 1909.
LOUISIANA sailed to Mexican waters on three occasions between July and September 1915 to protect American interests and to enforce an arms embargo. During World War I, the battleship was assigned as a gunnery and engineering ship, cruising off the Atlantic coast until September 1918. LOUISIANA then escorted a convoy to Halifax, and with the end of the war, made four trips to Brest, France, to carry U.S. troops home. LOUISIANA was decommissioned in 1920 and sold for scrap three years later.
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