The USS Lake Erie gets a new home

 

MarcNanBurrUSSLakeErieDuring this past year’s Historic Weekend, (now known as Perry’s Victory Heritage Festival) Perry Group President Marc Burr and his wife Nan were invited to fly to Los Angeles to be aboard the USS Lake Erie by XO Gonzalez when the USS Lake Erie was repositioned from Pearl Harbor (via Los Angeles) to San Diego for a refit. After the refit, the Lake Erie will make San Diego it’s permanent new homeport after 20 years in Pearl Harbor.

 

Thanks to Glenn Cooper, the Perry Group has had a long and wonderful history with the USS Lake Erie that has built long term friendship with the Captain(s) and crew of the ship.

 

Back in 1987 Captain Glenn Cooper, as you may or may not know, decided to submit an idea for the future name of the soon to be built ship. Glenn told me how he was in Florida and happened to be reading a book about Navy ships. As he perused the book Glenn realized that the Ticonderoga class Navy ships were named for important US Naval battles.

So Glenn took the initiative to follow up on this idea, and enlisted the help of then Put-in-Bay School Principal Kelly Faris and Superintendent Dick Lusardi. Together they composed a letter to Senator John Glenn on why the ship should be named Lake Erie based on the heroic efforts of Oliver Hazard Perry and his men in the Battle of Lake Erie. John Glenn, who was on the committee that had oversight on Navy projects was able to present the idea to the Navy command.

 

According to “uscarrier.net”, the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) was the 24th Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser built and was named by Perry Group advisory board member Glenn Cooper for the decisive USN victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Her keel was laid at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on March 6, 1990, and she was launched on July 13, 1991. The ship was christened by Mrs. Margaret Meyer, the wife of Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer. Capt. William H. Parks, Jr., was the prospective commanding officer. Several members of the Put-in-Bay community were on hand for that ceremony.

 

May 12, 1993 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Lake Erie departed Bath Iron Works for the last time. July 9, PCU Lake Erie arrived in its homeport of Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, after a 57-day transit from Bath, Maine and on July 24, 1993 USS Lake Erie was commissioned during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

 

The Battle of Lake Erie is very significant to the US Navy and this important connection to US Naval History and the Navy’s adoption of Perry’s motto “Don’t Give Up the Ship” has made the USS Lake Erie the pride of the Pacific fleet. Glenn Cooper has fostered a strong bond with the crew and leadership of the USS Lake Erie with the Perry Group and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial over the years.

 

If you’re heading to San Diego, the public is encouraged to go visit the USS Lake Erie while in dry dock. Glenn Cooper and the Perry Group’s long-term commitment to the officers and the crew of the ship is very evident and it has made the USS Lake Erie solid connection not just to history but to a community a standout among the fleet.

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