An Indian tribe, the first state in the Union, a bay, and a river.
(Frigate: Displacement 563; Length 119'; Beam 32'11"; Depth of hold 9'9"; Armament 22 12-pounder, 6 6- pounder)
The first Delaware, a frigate, was built under the 13 December 1775 order of the Continental Congress in the yard of Warwick Coates of Philadelphia, Pa., under the direction of the Marine Committee. Upon her launching in July 1776, Captain C. Alexander took command. Delaware served in the Delaware River, joining with Commodore J. Hazelwood's Pennsylvania state ships in operations which delayed the British Fleet in approaching Philadelphia and supplying the British Army. When the British took possession of Philadelphia 26 September 1777, Delaware in company with several smaller ships advanced upon the enemy fortifications which were being erected, and opened a destructive fire while anchored some 500 yards from shore. On 27 September she went aground on the ebb tide and came under the concentrated fire of the British artillery. After a brave defense against overwhelming odds, Captain Alexander was compelled to strike his colors. Delaware was taken into the Royal Navy until sold in March 1783.
The second Delaware was built in 1794 as the merchant ship Hamburgh Packet in Philadelphia, Pa., and purchased by the Navy 5 May 1798. Captain S. Decatur, Sr., was appointed to command and outfit her for sea. 1798 The second ship named Delaware boasting 20 guns sailed from Philadelphia July 6, 1798 with the USS Constellation. Costing $60,000, it weighed 180 tons, was manned by a crew of 180 men and was led by Capt. Stephen Decatur, Sr.
During the Quasi-War with France, Delaware cruised to protect American merchant shipping from French privateers. She guarded convoys during their approach to Philadelphia and New York, patrolled the West Indies, and escorted convoys into Havana. Her first prize, the privateer La Croyable, was taken off Great Egg Harbor 7 July 1798. From 14 July to 23 September, she cruised in the West Indies, often in company with the frigate United States, and together the ships took two privateers prize. During her second cruise in the West Indies, between 15 December 1798 and 20 May 1799, she took another prize, and won the thanks of the merchants of Havana for the protection she had given merchantmen sailing to that port.
Delaware's return to the West Indies from July 1799 to July 1800 found her joining the Revenue Cutter Eagle in taking a privateer sloop. She took a brig on 29 October, after a 7-hour chase, rescuing 30 Americans held prisoner in the privateer. She made a final cruise off Cuba in the late fall and winter of 1800-1801, then returned to Baltimore, where she was sold early in June 1801.
The third Delaware, a ship-of-the-line, was laid down at Norfolk Navy Yard in August 1817 and launched 21 October 1820. She was roofed over and kept at the yard in ordinary until on 27 March 1827 she was ordered repaired and fitted for sea. Delaware put to sea 10 February 1828 under the command of Captain J. Downs to become the flagship of Commodore W. I. M. Crane in the Mediterranean. Arriving at Algeciras Bay, Spain, 23 March, she served in the interests of American commerce and diplomacy in that area until returning to Norfolk 2 January 1830.
Delaware was decommissioned 10 February 1830, and lay in ordinary at Norfolk until 1833. Recommissioned 15 July 1833, she received President Jackson on board 29 July, firing a 24-gun salute at both his arrival and departure. The following day she set sail for the Mediterranean where she served as flagship for Commodore D. T. Patterson and cruised on goodwill visits and for the protection of the rights and property of American citizens until her return to Hampton Roads, 16 February 1836. She was placed in ordinary from 10 March 1836 until recommissioned 7 May 1841 for local operations from Norfolk.
Delaware sailed 1 November 1841 for a tour of duty on the Brazil Station as flagship for Commodore C. Morris. She patrolled the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina to represent American interests during political unrest in those countries. On 19 February 1843 she sailed from Rio de Janeiro for another cruise in the Mediterranean. Delaware returned to Hampton Roads 4 March 1844 and was decommissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard on the 22d. Still in ordinary there in 1861, she was burned 20 April along with other ships and the yard facilities to prevent their falling into Confederate hands.
The fourth Delaware, a side wheel steamer, was built in 1861 at Wilmington, Del.; purchased by the Navy 14 October 1861, Lieutenant S. P. Quackenbush in command.
Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Delaware sailed from Philadelphia 12 December 1861 and stood up the James River 26 December on patrol. On 12 January 1862 she sailed for Hatteras Inlet, N.C. Remaining on the North Carolina coast until 2 June, she took part in the capture of Roanoke Island on 7 and 8 February and Elizabeth City on 10 February, where she shared in the capture of five Confederate steamers and two schooners. She made a reconnaissance up Chowan River from 19 to 21 February, and on 13 and 14 March bombarded New Bern and captured four vessels.
Delaware arrived in Hampton Roads 2 June 1862 for service in Virginia waters until 30 October. She had several encounters with enemy batteries and captured a number of small craft which she sent in as prizes. She returned to operations in the rivers and sounds of North Carolina from October 1862 to February 1863 when she sailed with Valley City in tow, arriving at Hampton Roads on the 11th.
Until 5 April 1863 Delaware cruised in the James and York Rivers and Chesapeake Bay, then on the North Carolina coast until 27 November when she sailed to Baltimore for repairs. On 27 March 1864 she returned to the waters of Virginia, to patrol and perform picket duty, transport men and ordnance stores, and clear the rivers of torpedoes until the end of the war. Arriving at Washington Navy Yard 27 July 1865, Delaware was decommissioned there 5 August 1865 and sold on 12 September to the Treasury Department.
Piscataque (q.v.), a screw-steamer, was renamed Delaware 15 May 1869.
The sixth Delaware (BB-28) was launched 6 February 1909 by Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Mrs. A. P. Cahall, niece of the Governor of Delaware; and commissioned 4 April 1910, Captain C. A. Gove in command.
After visiting Wilmington, Del., from 3 to 9 October 1910, to receive a gift of a silver service from the state, Delaware sailed from Hampton Roads 1 November with the First Division, Atlantic Fleet, to visit Weymouth, England, and Cherbourg, France, and after battle practice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returned to Norfolk 18 January 1911. She departed 31 January to carry the remains of Chilean Minister Cruz to Valparaiso, sailing by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Punta Arenas, Chile. Returning to New York 5 May, she sailed 4 June for Portsmouth, England, where from 19 to 28 June she took part in the fleet review accompanying the coronation of King George V.
In her operations with the Fleet from 1912 to 1917, Delaware joined in exercises, drills, and torpedo practice at Rockport and Provincetown, Mass.; engaged in special experimental firing and target practice at Lynnhaven Roads; trained in Cuban waters participating in fleet exercises; and provided summer training for midshipmen. She passed before President Taft and the Secretary of the Navy in the Naval Review of 14 October 1912 and the next year visited Villefranche, France, while on a cruise with battleships Wyoming (BB-32) and Utah (BB-31). In 1914 and again in 1916 she cruised off Vera Cruz to protect American lives and property during the political disturbances in Mexico.
With the outbreak of World War I in Europe, Delaware returned to Hampton Roads from winter maneuvers in the Caribbean to train armed guard crews and engineers, as well as join in exercises to ready the Fleet for war. On 25 November 1917 she sailed from Lynnhaven Roads with Division 9, bound for Scapa Flow, Scotland. After battling bad weather in the North Atlantic, she joined the 6th Battle Squadron, British Grand Fleet 14 December for exercises to coordinate the operations of the Allied force.
The 6th Battle Squadron got underway 6 February 1918 with an escort of eight British destroyers to convoy a large group of merchant ships to Norway. Cruising off Stavanger 2 days later, Delaware was attacked twice by a submarine, but each time skillful handling enabled the battleship to evade the torpedoes. The squadron returned to its home base at Scapa Flow, 10 February. Delaware participated in two more convoy voyages in March and April, then sailed with the Grand Fleet on 24 April to reinforce the 2d Battle Cruiser Squadron which was on convoy duty and expected contact with the enemy. Only the vessels of the advance screen made any contact, and the chance for action faded.
From 30 June to 2 July 1918 the 6th Battle Squadron, with a division of British destroyers as escort, went to sea to screen American ships laying the North Sea mine barrage. On 22 July George V inspected the ships of the Grand Fleet at Rosyth, Scotland, and 8 days later, after being relieved by Arkansas (BB-33), Delaware sailed for Hampton Roads, arriving 12 August.
Delaware remained at York River until 12 November 1918, then sailed to Boston Navy Yard for an overhaul. On 11 March 1919 she joined the Fleet in Cuban waters for exercises. Returning to New York 14 April she continued to operate in division, squadron and fleet maneuvers, and participated in the Presidential Fleet Review at Hampton Roads 28 April 1921. She made two midshipmen practice cruises, one to Colon, Martinique, and other ports in the Caribbean, and to Halifax, Nova Scotia between 5 June and 31 August 1922; and a second to Europe, visiting Copenhagen, Greenock, Cadix, and Gibraltar between 9 July and 29 August 1928.
Delaware entered Norfolk Navy Yard 30 August 1923, and her crew was transferred to Colorado (BB-45), a newly commissioned battleship assigned to replace Delaware in the Fleet. Moving to Boston Navy Yard in September, she was stripped of warlike equipment and decommissioned 10 November 1928. Delaware was sold 5 February 1924 and scrapped in accordance with the Washington Treaty on the limitation of armaments.
VII. USS Delaware (SP-467, later AT-53 and YT-111), 1917-1935. Renamed SP-467 in 1918 USS Delaware, a 242 gross ton minesweeper, was built in 1913 at Pocomoke City, Maryland, by E. James Tull as the commercial fishing vessel of the same name. She was acquired by the Navy in May 1917, placed in commission later in that month, and formally purchased in August 1917 from the Delaware Fish Oil Company of Lewes, Delaware. Renamed SP-467 in 1918, presumably to avoid confusion with the battleship Delaware, she spent the World War I era operating in the vicinity of Delaware Bay. Redesignated AT-53 in July 1920, and YT-111 a year later, the ship went to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at about that time and was stationed there well into the 1930s. During those years she was listed in contemporary Navy publications as Delaware, though this may not have represented an official name change. She was sold in April 1935.
VIII. The NOAA Ship Delaware II conducts fishery and living marine resource research in support of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Northeast Fisheries Science Center's (NEFSC) Woods Hole Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. The ship's normal operating area is the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and the continental shelf and slope from Southern New England to Cape Hatteras, NC. Typical assessment work includes groundfish assessment surveys and Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment and Prediction (MARMAP) surveys. Research conducted from the Delaware II provides an understanding of the physical and biological processes that control year-class strength of key economical fish species. The vessel is operated by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.
Designer: George C. Sharp, Inc. Builder: South Portland Engineering, S. Portland, ME Launched: December 1967 Delivered: October 1968 Commissioned: March 12, 1975 Repairs To Extend: 1996 Hull Number: R 445 Call Letters: KNBD Home Port: Woods Hole, MA Length (LOA): 155 ft. (47.2 m) Breadth (moulded): 30 ft. (9.1 m) Draft, Maximum: 16.6 ft (5.1 m) Hull: Welded steel Displacement: 897 tons Gross Tonnage: 610 tons Net Tonnage: 183 tons Speed & Endurance
Wet lab: 264 sq. ft. Dry/Chemistry lab: 230 sq. ft. Protected work area: 172 sq. ft. Scientific Freezer: Forward Main Deck, Walk-in, 201 cu. ft. Food Service Seating
General mess: 16 Berthing
Single staterooms: 2 Double staterooms: 11 Four bunk rooms: 2 Total bunks: 32 Medical Facilities
Emergency and first-aid equipment aboard, administered by an EMT.
Delaware for Divers The Delaware was a coastal steamship. Her route was New York to Havana. She carried general cargo and passengers, and was appoximately 1,600 tons and 250 feet long. On a trip out of New York she caught fire and burned to the waterline, and later sank while being towed by salvagers. The wooden remains of her hull are good for lobster hunting and looking for artifacts. The wreck lies one and half miles off Bayhead, New Jersey about 3 miles from Manasquan Inlet. Some say she carried large payroll, which never been recovered, and therefore she is therefore listed as being a treasure ship. Depth: 75 feet. Beginner to intermediate dive. Average visibility: 10 to 20 feet.
Navy submarine to bear Delaware's name Nov 19, 2012 William H. McMichael/The News Journal
WASHINGTON. -- It’s been 89 years since a Navy ship bearing the name Delaware sailed the world’s waters.
The drought is now ended. The Navy announced at the Pentagon this afternoon that its newest attack submarine will be named Delaware.
And get this: It was a short, simple and slyly tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor of the News Journal last spring that spurred the state’s three-member congressional delegation to launch an inside-the- Beltway campaign to get the state a namesake ship, according to Katie Wilson, press secretary to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.
“The Navy announced on Monday that each of five new submarines (which currently are named for states) would be named after a state that hasn't been represented in the Navy in more than 60 years,” Newark’s Steven Llanso wrote in a letter published April 18. “They missed an obvious candidate and should rectify that oversight by naming the SSN 791 after Delaware. The last USS Delaware (a battleship) had her name stricken in 1923, so the First State certainly qualifies.
“I know our Vice President [Joe] Biden is too bashful to weigh in on this question, so I leave it to the News Journal to take up the cry.”
The “bashful” Biden, in fact, showed up at the Pentagon ceremony today – as the “special guest” of his wife, Jill Biden, who Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said will serve as ship’s sponsor. As such, she’ll have the honor of breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow when the submarine is ceremonially christened. The vice president remained on the sidelines during the ceremony, ceding the spotlight to his wife. Also on hand were Carper and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn.
So Delaware, which does not build or host Navy ships or aircraft and ranks near the bottom of the list of states for federal defense dollars received, now will be represented on the high seas – more precisely, under the waves – with its first namesake warship since the battleship referenced by Llanso, which was decommissioned in 1923.
"This is an important day for Delaware as we welcome the USS Delaware to our proud family," said Carper. "It is a great source of joy to me that the vessel that will bear the name of Delaware will be one of the most state-of-the-art submarines in the world. If we want to continue to protect our military might and protect our shipping lanes so that we can conduct commerce around the world, we are going to need fast attack submarines like the USS Delaware. "
The ship will be something to crow about: The Virginia class of submarines is the Navy’s latest and greatest. Nuclear-powered and stealthy, the 377-foot subs bristle with torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles, and are equipped with special warfare enhancements such as a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers.
The Delaware, to be known in official parlance as SSN 791, will be assembled in Newport News, Va., by builder Huntington Ingalls Industries, in partnership with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics. The Navy earlier said, in error, that the submarine was already under construction.
The ship which won’t officially gain the “USS” – for United States Ship – before its name until it is commissioned and accepted into the Navy fleet, fully manned, operable and ready to sail.
Carper, Coons, Carney Welcome The Announcement Of USS Delaware
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D- Del.) welcomed the announcement of the naming of the Naval submarine, the USS Delaware.
In May, Delaware's Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Naval Secretary Ray Mabus to encourage him to name a submarine after the state of Delaware following a letter to the editor that appeared in the News Journal encouraging the delegation to take up the cause of getting this vessel named after the State of Delaware.
"This is an important day for Delaware as we welcome the USS Delaware to our proud family," said Sen. Carper, a 23-year veteran of the Navy. "It is a great source of joy to me that the vessel that will bear the name of Delaware will be one of the most state-of-the-art submarines in the world. If we want to continue to protect our military might and protect our shipping lanes so that we can conduct commerce around the world, we are going to need fast attack submarines like the USS Delaware. "
"Delaware's rich naval tradition has played a significant role in our nation's history and it is an honor to see it recognized with the naming of the USS Delaware," Senator Coons said. "This submarine will not only serve as a state-of-the-art component of our national security, but as a symbol honoring all Delawareans who have served our country. Secretary Mabus has my thanks and the brave men who will one day serve on the Delaware have my deepest respect and gratitude."
"Today is a great day for Delaware, particularly for our veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces," said Congressman Carney. "Many Delawareans have proudly served in the United States Navy, and naming this state-of-the-art submarine the USS Delaware is a tribute to their dedication and sacrifice. I'm very proud that this vessel, which will play an important role in maintaining the nation's defense and strengthening the economy, will bear the name of our state."
A copy of the letter follows: May 22, 2012
The Honorable Ray Mabus Secretary of the Navy 2000 Navy Pentagon Washington, D.C. 20250-2000
Dear Secretary Mabus,
We write today to encourage you to consider naming a submarine after the state of Delaware.
Long before 10,000 Delawareans built hundreds of ships along the bank of the Christiana River during WWII to help win that war, Delaware played an important role in maritime history, a role that the Navy would enrich today by naming a newly constructed submarine the USS Delaware. Before we became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, Delaware served as the staging ground for the Continental Navy's first maritime mission. In January of 1776, Esek Hopkins, the Continental Navy's first and only Commander-in-Chief, ordered a convoy assembled in the Delaware Bay off of Lewes, Delaware. This flotilla sailed out of the Delaware Capes bound for Nassau, Bahamas, marking the first development of U.S. Navy forces in our country's history. Similarly, one of the earliest naval encounters, if not the earliest, of the Revolutionary War took place off Lewes, Delaware, when the British warship HMS Roebuck was repelled by local pilots who kept the ship from advancing up the Delaware Bay.
During the War of 1812, Delaware and its citizens played key roles in our country's naval battles, as well. Naval forces stationed at Lewes, Delaware protected critically important powder works on the Brandywine River near Wilmington, Delaware. In a famous naval encounter, Delaware-born Commodore Jacob Jones commanded the USS Wasp as it survived an ambush by the British ship HMS Frolic and responded by capturing the British warship. Commodore Jones received a Congressional Gold Medal for his leadership in this battle. Additionally, in 1814 Delaware-native Commodore Thomas McDonough earned this distinction as the "Hero of the Lake Champlain" for the successful defense of the strategically important Otter Creek shipyard from advancing British ships.
At the onset of World War I, the U.S. Navy established a presence at Cape Henlopen on the Delaware coast. This Naval Section Base and its forces were in charge of defending our coast lines from enemy ships conducting mine sweeping operations. After World War II, Cape Henlopen evolved its defensive operations to become the site of the U.S. Navy Sound Surveillance System Station, which was responsible for monitoring coastal naval threats, especially Soviet submarines during the Cold War. Among its commanders was Lieutenant Commander Margaret Fredrick, who was one of the first female commanding officers in the U.S. Navy.
Despite this history, Delaware has gone too long without a naval vessel bearing its name. The last ship, the USS Delaware (BB-28), was decommissioned nearly 90 years ago on November 10, 1923, after thirteen years of service. Since that time, 42 other states have had U.S. naval vessels named after them, according to the records in the Naval Vessel Registry. Fifteen of those states have had two of more vessels carry their state's name since the USS Delaware's decommissioning. Of the eight states without ships named for them during this time, Delaware is one of only three states that do not currently have a ship named after them until very recently, the USS Portland and USS Salt Lake City; however, the last ship named for a Delaware city-the USS Wilmington-was decommissioned in 1945.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Delaware is currently home to 73,000 veterans, many of whom have served their country in the U.S. Navy. These veterans, as well as the thousands of Delawareans currently serving on active duty as members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Delaware, deserves to be honored for their service and sacrifice. One small thing we can do to pay tribute to the service of each of them is to name a future submarine after their home state.
We thank you in advance for your consideration of this request, and we look forward to working with you to achieve this most worthwhile goal.