The second U.S. Navy ship named for the city located in northeastern Pennsylvania. The first Scranton, a steamer named Pennsylvanian built in 1913, was acquired by the Navy on 13 September 1918 and renamed Scranton (Id. No. 3511), and served from 1918–1919. The name Scranton was assigned to a patrol escort (PF-63) on 25 June 1943, but she was renamed Moberly on 28 June 1944. Scranton, a heavy cruiser (CA-138), was laid down on 27 December 1944 by the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pa. Her construction was canceled on 12 August 1945 and her unlaunched hull scrapped on the slipway.
(SSN-756: displacement 6,145; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 31'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament 12 Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes for UGM-109 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and UGM-84 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles, and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Los Angeles)
The second Scranton (SSN-756) was laid down on 29 August 1986 at Newport News, Va., by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; launched on 3 July 1989; sponsored by Mrs. Sarah S. McDade, wife of Representative Joseph M. McDade of Pa.; and was commissioned on 26 January 1991 at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Cmdr. John G. Meyer in command.
In 2011 fighting raged across Libya between Moammar Qadhafi and rebels opposed to his regime. The war drove tens of thousands of refugees across the neighboring border, and overburdened UN relief workers revealed that the plight of the fugitives reached a “crisis point.” The UN Security Council thus passed Resolution 1973 authorizing the use of force, including the implementation of a no-fly zone, to end Qadhafi’s attacks against his own people. The U.S. froze at least $30 billion worth of Libyan assets, and on the night of 19 March 2011, American, British, Canadian, Danish, French, Italian, and Spanish forces commenced Operation Odyssey Dawn to destroy Qadhafi’s ability to attack civilians and to impose a no-fly zone.
Air and missile strikes pounded more than 20 integrated Libyan air defense and radar systems and airfields. Four USMC McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier IIs and 15 USAF aircraft including Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirits flew 19 air sorties, and guided missile destroyers Barry (DDG-52) and Stout (DDG-55), guided missile submarine Florida (SSGN-728), attack submarines Providence (SSN-719) and Scranton, and British attack submarine Triumph (S.93) fired more than 110 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs). Grumman EA-6G Growlers and Harrier IIs subsequently jammed enemy transmissions. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn, broke his flag in command ship Mount Whitney (LCC-20). Those attacks hit primarily SA-2, SA-3, and SA-5 surface-to-air missile batteries around Libyan airfields, as well as aircraft on the ground and munitions sites, enabling the allies to enforce the no-fly zone from east to west across Libya. British Air Vice Marshal Gregory J. Bagwell, RAF, told reporters on 23 March that the Libyan Air Force “no longer exists as a fighting force.” JTF Odyssey Dawn was disestablished on 30 March, and the allies shifted to NATO Operation Unified Protector. The ongoing NATO air support enabled the rebels to eventually defeat the dictator, and they ambushed and killed Qadhafi while he fled from Surt on 20 October 2011.
Detailed history under construction.
Mark L. Evans
27 August 2015