CG 52 | USS BUNKER HILL
The Battle of Bunker Hill
USS BUNKER HILL was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi. It was commissioned in Boston on 20 September 1986, within sight of the historical monument commemorating the namesake battle.
After commissioning, BUNKER HILL entered the Pacific Fleet via the Panama Canal. BUNKER HILL made its first deployment in July 1987, nearly one year ahead of schedule. During the deployment, the ship provided an anti-air warfare umbrella for the USS MISSOURI (BB 63) and USS RANGER (CV 61) battle groups and U.S. flagged tankers and ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
In August 1988, the ship moved to Yokosuka, Japan joining the USS MIDWAY (CV 41) battle group. Shortly thereafter, the ship departed for a four month deployment in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
From November 1990 through March 1991, BUNKER HILL was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The ship directed the tactical employment of 26 ships and over 300 combat aircraft from six nations. BUNKER HILL also launched a total of 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets in Iraq. The cruiser was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal for its exceptional performance. In July 1991, BUNKER HILL escorted the USS MIDWAY to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for a turnover with USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62).
In March 1992, BUNKER HILL was part of the last battle group to visit the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. In April 1992, BUNKER HILL departed Yokosuka for a seven month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. The cruiser was instrumental in the planning and execution of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, the enforcement of the United Nations no-fly zone over Southern Iraq.
In November 1993, the ship deployed for independent operations in the Sea of Japan before rejoining the INDEPENDENCE battle group to continue Operation Southern Watch. On 17 March 1994, BUNKER HILL returned to Yokosuka marking the completion of its fifth Arabian Gulf deployment.
In March 1996, China fired a series of TBMs into the ocean near Taiwan. USS BUNKERHILL was called on short notice to reposition and track the TBMs using its SPY-1A radar. BUNKER HILL's Aegis Combat System recorded each missile flight in detail.
BUNKER HILL took part in the 6-day long Exercise ANNUALEX headed by the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) Battle Group. The exercise also involved approximately 120 ships and 180 aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the waters surrounding Japan. The exercise aimed at testing the capabilities for coordinated/bilateral operations in defense of Japan.
BUNKER HILL deployed to the Arabian Gulf from January to June 1998. In August 1998, BUNKER HILL returned to the homeport she left ten years earlier. BUNKER HILL shifted homeports from Yokosuka, Japan to San Diego, CA. Most recently, BUNKER HILL deployed with the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group. She again participated in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and conducted boardings and inspections of over 40 merchant vessels in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. BUNKER HILL also escorted the TARAWA Amphibious Ready Group while conducting humanitarian operations off East Timor and training exercises in Kuwait. BUNKER HILL acted as Air Defense Commander for the ARG where she designed and implemented innovative procedures for CG integration into an Amphibious Ready Group. Following the attack on the USS COLE (DDG 72), the BUNKER HILL sortied from Bahrain to provide suport and protection to seven USN and USNS ships based there and subsequently remained at sea for 67 consecutive days. BUNKER HILL returned from deployment in February 2001.
USS BUNKER HILL took part in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2000, as part of the the ABRAHAM LINCOLN Battle Group. The Battle Group was simultaneously beginning its Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) in preparation for deployment to the western Pacific and Arabian Gulf areas. RIMPAC 2000 focuses on conducting area air defense, war-at-sea and power-projection exercises designed to test and practice the Navy's ability to interface with naval allies from Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, the Republic of Korea and Australia. Following three months spent operating in the Arabian Sea to enforce United Nations sanctions, USS BUNKER HILL completed a visit to Perth and Fremantle, two neighboring cities in Western Australia, in mid-January 2001.
Since her commissioning, BUNKER HILL has deployed six times to the Arabian Gulf and has earned eight Battle "E" Awards, including the Golden Battle "E" in 1996 which is given when a ship receives five such awards consecutively.
The sea dragon is an awesome beast
that is both vigilant and fierce. Grasping a flaming sword, the sea
dragon symbolizes the naval prowess and attack capability of today's
USS BUNKER HILL. The flaming sword also represents the revolutionary
capability of the Vertical Launching System first introduced in USS
BUNKER HILL. The stars commemorate the eleven battle stars the former
USS BUNKER HILL (CV 17) earned in the Pacific theater during World War
II. Blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy
and are symbolic of the sea and excellence. The two white bars in chief
represent American courage and purpose as displayed at the Battle of
BUNKER HILL on 17 June 1775. The red bars symbolize the British
assaults on the colonists' entrenchment and the curve below alludes to
the hill that the British took at great cost. Bunker Hill proved to be
a rallying point for the Americans, since afterwards the British faced
full scale war.