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History
USS St. Louis (LCS 19) Menu
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History


The USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is the latest of seven ships to carry the name of St. Louis. She was commissioned into active service, Aug. 8, 2020.

The historic relationship of St. Louis and the U.S. Navy runs deep over the course of nearly 200 years. Since 1828, seven naval vessels have served the country while bearing the name of the gateway city. 

USS St. Louis is the 19th ship in the U.S. Navy’s well-connected family of modern vessels that maneuver in shallow, coastal waters. Designed efficiently for speed and agility, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) network counters threats of coastal mines, terrorism and stealth submarines. The network preserves our nation’s freedom of navigation across the globe through an innovative combination of ship design and construction, the skills and training of the crew, and the operational programs that create continuous maritime presence and protection.

The first USS St. Louis was an 18-gun sloop of war that assisted national and international naval missions until the turn of the 20th century.

 Before his famous bridge over the Mississippi River, James Eads constructed seven ironclad ships for the War Department in Carondelet, Missouri. The St. Louis was launched in 1861 and renamed the Baron De Kalb one year later, once transferred to the Navy Department. She would spend the war battling up and down the Mississippi until struck by a mine in 1863. During engagements at Drumgould’s Bluff, four of her sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor.

 The third USS St. Louis began as an ocean liner in 1894. She was militarized in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and served to cut communication lines around the Caribbean. After briefly returning to civilian use, the St. Louis served in World War I battling U-boats in the Irish Sea and transporting troops in the Atlantic. She was renamed Louisville in 1918 once reassigned to the Navy.

USS St. Louis (C 20) was a protected cruiser used heavily in World War I as an escort for Atlantic convoys. By the end of the war in 1919 she had completed seven round-trip crossings and continued to serve in humanitarian efforts around the world before her decommissioning in 1922. 

The light cruiser nicknamed the “Lucky Lou” earned eleven battle stars during her service in World War II. The name was earned for her actions at Pearl Harbor, returning fire and maneuvering into the open sea on the offensive while under attack from submarines. Her war service continued in the Pacific through the battle of Okinawa and she later served under the Brazilian Navy until 1980.

The sixth USS St. Louis was a Charleston class amphibious cargo ship brought into duty in late 1970 and earned two battle stars for her service in Vietnam.

 
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