Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1994

Page 8 of 112


Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1994 Edition, Page 8 of 112
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Fort McHenry (LSD 43) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1994 Edition, Page 7
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Page 8 text:

HARl ' ER ' S WEEKLY. [Jri,r 1.;. 1B«;! luKr M ' llEMlV. LALTIMORE. MAHVI AND -Tmi-. % ii « WpMurn u. Cowimxt I), .U. Iliur.. SI. V. HISTORY OF FORT MCHENRY Fort McHenry ' s history began in 1 776 during the Revolutionary War. The people of Baltimore feared an attack by the British and wanted to build a fort for protection. Anticipating an attack at any time, a fort of earthen mounds was constructed quickly. Originally, it was called Fort Whetstone, because of its location on Whetstone Point. Whetstone Point was an excellent location for a fort for two reasons. It was located far enough from Bal- timore to provide protection without endangering the city, and the area was a peninsula. Constucting the fort on this site meant that enemy ships sailing into Baltimore would have to pass the fort first. The Revolutionary War ended without an attack on Baltimore, but improvements to the fort continued. In 1 798. a french engineer was directed by the Secretary of War to draw plans for a new fort on Whetstone Point These plans were expensive, and it was difficult for the people of Baltimore to raise money for con- struction. However. James McHenry. a well-known politician, was instrumental in raising funds for the new fort. The fort was renamed ' Fort McHenry " in his honor. Fort McHenry became famous when the British tried to attack Baltimore during the War of 1812. When the bombardment began on September 13. 1814. there were 1.000 soldiers defending the fort. Some were federal soldiers who were stationed at Fort McHenry permanently, many were volunteers from the city of Baltimore. Their Commanding Officer was Major George Armstead. For 25 hours the British bombarded Fort McHenry. but the fort ' s artillery fire kept the British away. Baltimore was saved. In the 1860 ' s the fort was used by the Union Army during the Civil War to keep the confederates from getting to Baltimore. It was also used as a prison for political prisoners suspected of being Confederate sym- pathizers. Many Confederate soldiers were imprisoned at the fort as well. In 1917. during the first World War. General Hospital No. 12 was established at Foii McHenry by the War Department. It was the largest military hospital in the country with over 100 temporary buildings to ac- commodate wounded American soldiers returning from the war in Europe.

Page 7 text: is S(.i)it Kf — Anllmr nl llic Sp.inulril H.miur hu l(l ul I ll ' -liirnal Sat ul FRANCIS SCOTT KEY AND THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER O! say can you see by the dawn ' s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight ' s last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight. O ' er the remparts we watch ' d. were so gallantly steaming? And the rockets red glare, the Bombs bursting in air. Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there: O! say does that star-spangled Banner yet wave. O ' er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave? FRANCIS SCOTT KEY was born on August 1, 1779, in western Maryland. When Key was 10 years old, his parents sent him to grammar school in Annapolis. After graduating at the age of 17, he studied law in Annapolis while working with his uncle ' s law firm. By 1805, he had a well-established law practice of his own in Georgetown, a suburb of Washington, D.C. By 1814, he had appeared many times before the Supreme Court, and had been appointed the United States District Attorney. During the war of 1812, Dr. William Beanes, a close friend of Key ' s, was taken prisoner by the British in the Chesapeake Bay. Key left for Baltimore. There he was to meet with Colonel John Skinner, a government agent who arranged for prisoner exchanges. Together, they set out on a small boat to meet the Royal Navy. Onboard the British Flagship, the officers were very kind to Key and Skinner. They agreed to release Dr. Beanes. However, the three men were not permitted to return to Baltimore until after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. After 25 hours of continuous bombing, the British decided to leave since they were unable to destroy that fort as they had hoped. Realizing that the British has ceased the attack. Key looked toward the fort to see if the flag was still there. To his relief, the flag was still flying! Quickly, he wrote down the words to a poem which was soon handed out as a handbill under the title, " The Defense of Fort McHenry " . Later, the words were set to music and renamed " The Star Spangled Banner " . This became a popular song and in 1931 it became our National Anthem.

Page 9 text:

-SEW HISTORY OF THE USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD-43) Named for the national monument in Baltimore, Maryland, USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD-43) is the third ship of the Whidbey Island Class Dock Landing Ship. FORT MCHENRY ' s keel was laid down on 10 June 1983 and the ship was launched on 1 February 1986. The Honorable Helen D. Bently was the sponsor for FORT MCHENRY ' s commissioning ceremony which took place in Seat- tle, WA on 9 August 1987. FORT MCHENRY ' s maiden deployment was from June 1988 to December 1988 to the Western Pa- cific. Following her return, FORT MCHENRY participated in the clean up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill by deploying to Prince William Sound from 28 April to 22 June 1989. In recognition of the crew ' s effectiveness during the clean-up operation, FORT MCHENRY was awarded the Meritorious Unity Commendation and the Coast Guard ' s Special Operations Service Ribbon. On 20 June 1990, FORT MCHENRY began her second deployment which was scheduled to be a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 al- tered the schedule and resulted in a 10-month Desert Shield Storm deployment. Following her re- turn to San Diego on 17 April 1991, FORT MCHENRY was awarded the Navy Unity Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon for the operations conducted in the North Arabian Gulf during Desert Storm. Eight Months after returning from her second deployment, FORT MCHENRY completed an ac- celerated inter-deployment work up schedule and deployed again on 6 January 1992. After several successful multinational exercises and port visits to the North Arabian Gulf, Western and Southern Pacific, FORT MCHENRY returned to San Diego on 6 July 1992. Shortly thereafter, FORT MCHENRY was awarded her second Battle Efficiency Award for overall outstanding performance during the con etitive cycle. Following an extensive overhaul period, FORT MCHENRY began the training cycle to prepare for her next deployment. While in the training cycle, FORT MCHENRY transited to the east coast, through the Panama Canal to pick up five new LCAC from Panama City, Florida. Shortly after her return, she was awarded her third Battle Efficiency Award. At the completion of the training cycle FORT MCHENRY departed on her fourth deployment on 9 June 1994.

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