Yorktown Petitions Navy for Namesake Ships for 230th Birthday

Yorktown celebrated its 229th birthday earlier this month. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The town board rang in Yorktown’s 229th anniversary with a single cake at a town board meeting earlier this month; however, it looks like next year’s party will be boatloads more fun.

The board unanimously passed a resolution to petition Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy, to consider naming one Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser and one Littoral Combat Ship in honor of Yorktown’s 230th anniversary. (See below for full letter written by Supervisor Michael Grace.)

Other small cities have had Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), small surface vessels intended for close shore operations, named after them, according to the resolution passed March 7. The petition requests that “USS Yorktown” be considered as a name for the next available LCS and that “USS Battle of Pines Bridge” be considered for the next available Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.

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“In addition to the historical significance of the Battle of Pines Bridge, the Town of Yorktown—and its residents—have a long and dedicated history that is worthy of the honor of bearing a naval ship’s name,” reads the resolution.

Names for Navy ships are chosen and announced by the secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the president and in accordance with rules prescribed by Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Certain rules apply to naming specific types of ships. For instance, LCS naming requirements state that an LCS be named after a regionally important U.S. city or community, while John Lewis (TAO-205) class oilers, for instance, are named after civil rights leaders.

Guided missile cruisers are named after historic events. The USS Yorktown was a Ticonderoga-class cruiser in the Navy named after a battle in the American Revolutionary War. Not to be confused with its namesake, that particular battle occurred in Yorktown, Va.; however if Stackley agrees with the town board’s submission that Yorktown’s own Battle of Pines Bridge was noteworthy “in the development of the cause of American freedom,” Yorktown, N.Y., could be represented on a Navy warship.

“This isn’t a done deal yet, but we’re working on it,” said Councilman Tom Diana.

He announced with confidence, however, that plans to host Yorktown’s first, “Town Day” in 2018 are under way. The community event will also commemorate the 230th anniversary of the town with a parade, musical acts and fireworks. Diana said a planning committee is in the process of being put together.

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