USS New York (LPD 21) is the fifth U.S. ship to be named for the state of New York. Constructed by Northrop Grumman Ships Systems in Avondale, La., her keel was laid on Oct. 10, 2004, and she was launched on December 19, 2007.
Four previous ships have been named New York. The first, a gondola (1776), was scuttled after suffering heavy damage during the defeat at the Battle of Valcour Island on Oct. 11, 1776. Though a tactical defeat, the fierce resistance of the outnumbered Americans postponed a British invasion from Canada. The second, a frigate (1800-1814), served to protect American commerce and project American Naval power, particularly along the Barbary Coast of North Africa. The third USS New York, an armored cruiser (1893-1938), served as flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron during the Spanish-American War and, later, flagship of the Asiatic Fleet before being renamed Saratoga in 1911. The fourth, the battleship USS New York (BB 34) (1914-1946), served in the North Sea blockade of Germany during World War I and provided shore bombardment during the invasions of North Africa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa during World War II.
The newest ship to bear the name has acquired a distinguished history of her own before she even set sail. The ship and her motto, "Strength Forged Through Sacrifice - Never Forget," pay homage to the victims and first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The ship contains 7.5 tons of steel recovered from the remains of the World Trade Center towers within her bow. According to Dotty England, the ship’s sponsor and the wife of former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, "I went to the pouring of the steel down at Amite, Louisiana, and not just myself, but everybody connected in that steel mill, treated that steel with utmost dignity. It was rather quiet, everybody handled it with dignity. The steel workers in Amite felt like they were contributing to the defense of the nation."
In a poetically apropos gesture, USS New York was delivered to the fleet on August 21, 2009, at 9:11 am.
As another link to her illustrious name, she also holds the bugle from the battleship USS New York.