United States General Zachary Taylor led the Army of Occupation, a mixed force of Texas Rangers, regulars, and volunteers, to victory against Mexican General Pedro de Ampudea, who led the Army of the North, at the Battle of Monterey, fought at Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, from 21-24 September 1846.
The fourth ship named Monterey. The first ship named Monterey, a steam screw tug, was built as Monitor but renamed Monterey on 18 May 1863, and served from 1863-1892. The second Monterey (Monitor No. 6), was reclassified to BM-6 on 17 July 1920, and served from 1893-1921. The third Monterey (CVL-26), a small aircraft carrier, was laid down on 29 December 1941 as light cruiser Dayton (CL-78); reclassified to an aircraft carrier (CV‑26) on 27 March 1942; renamed Monterey on 31 March 1942; reclassified to CVL‑26 on 15 July 1943; reclassified to an auxiliary aircraft transport (AVT‑2) on 15 May 1959, and served from 1943-1971.
(CG-61: displacement 9,600; length 567'; beam 55'; draft 33'; speed 30+ knots; complement 363; armament 2 5-inch, 2 Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-66 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 8 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile canister launchers, 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 46 torpedoes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Ticonderoga)
The fourth Monterey (CG-61) was laid down on 19 April 1987 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 23 October 1988; sponsored by Mrs. Sally I. Hardisty, wife of Adm. Huntington Hardisty, Commander Pacific Command; and commissioned on 16 June 1990, at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Capt. Joel B. Heaton in command.
General Zachary Taylor leads his men into battle, leg slung over the saddle atop his white stallion “Old Whitie,” before the heavily defended Independence Hill, the turning point in the Battle of Monterey. Black Fort, a stone work that protected the city, rises in the background.
The central shield represents AEGIS, the impenetrable defensive shield of the Greek god Zeus. The Surface Warfare Insignia appears over AEGIS, symbolizing the three dimensional (Air, Surface, and Underwater) threat. The AEGIS elongated octagon covers this symbol. This octagon is familiar to people who view the cruiser’s sophisticated radar array. A dark blue anchor centered on the octagon characterizes seapower, strength, and Navy tradition. The gold star depicts battle stars earned by small aircraft carrier Monterey (CVL-26) during World War II. The principle colors, red and gold, establish bravery and excellence as traits honored on board Monterey (CG-61).
“Rough in Battle and Ready in Peace” originates from Zachary Taylor’s nickname of “Old Rough and Ready,” which he earned fighting the Seminoles in Florida, and later used as a campaign slogan for his election to the office of President of the United States.
Monterey operated at times with aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during a deployment to the Fifth and Sixth Fleets (10 September 2008-18 April 2009). Theodore Roosevelt conducted a passing exercise with a South African submarine, and an Atlas Oryx helicopter of the South African Air Force’s No. 22 Squadron performed cross-deck training on board the carrier, while in South African waters. Theodore Roosevelt then entered Table Bay, South Africa (3-6 October). The event marked the first visit by a U.S. carrier to the port following the abolition of the South African government’s apartheid policy. An AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 Mk. 64 maritime helicopter of No. 22 Squadron photographed the carrier as she sailed into the bay. Because of the great size of Theodore Roosevelt, the ship anchored in the bay between Robben Island and Milnerton beach, at 0730 on 3 October.
Rough seas, meanwhile, compelled Monterey to anchor in the bay temporarily prior to mooring at Cape Town. The weather further interfered with a reception for distinguished American and South African visitors scheduled to be held on board the carrier, and the gathering thus shifted to the cruiser. Theodore Roosevelt took on supplies while at the port, and on 5 October, Seahawks of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 3 flew cargo to the ship. Following her departure from Table Bay, Theodore Roosevelt participated in a theater security cooperation exercise with South African frigate Isandlwana (F.146), patrol boat Isaac Dyobia (P.1565), and support vessel Drakensburg (A.301), together with French frigate Floréal (F.730), on 9 October.
The ship fires her forward 5-inch gun while participating in a NATO exercise in the Mediterranean during a deployment to the Sixth and Fifth Fleets, 5 December 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho, U.S. Navy Photograph Series 11237753435_916f3d704a_o, Commander Naval Forces Europe-Africa Sixth Fleet)
Two French Dassault-Breguet Super Étendards hurtle past the ship during the exercise, 5 December 2013. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho, U.S. Navy Photograph Series 11237753435_916f3d704a_o, Commander Naval Forces Europe-Africa Sixth Fleet)
Monterey crosses the Atlantic beneath a brilliant sun during the voyage, 2 January 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Billy Ho, U.S. Navy Photograph 140102-N-QL471-164, Navy NewsStand)
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
9 September 2014