USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN is the eleventh TICONDEROGA – class Guided Missile Cruiser and the tenth ship of that class built by Ingalls. LAKE CHAMPLAIN is the third ship in the Navy to bear the name.
The first ship named Lake Champlain was launched by Superior Shipbuilding Co. on 31 July 1917 under USSB contract and was aquired by the US Navy on 19 January 1918. She was commissioned USS Lake Champlain on 24 January of that same year by Lt. Comdr. Richard R. Roberts, USNRF, in command. Assigned to the NOTS, USS Lake Champlain carried coal from Norfolk to Boston and New York until Febuary of 1918. She then departed Hampton Roads 12 March for Clyde, Scotland to provide provisions to Britian. She made three round trips to Europe, carrying various supplies such as coal, ammunitions, provisions and soldiers before returning to Norfolk in 7 January 1919. On 1 February 1919, USS Lake Champlain departed Norfolk with a cargo of mines and coal for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and returned on 10 March. This was to be her final voyage in the service of the Navy. She was decommissioned on 20 March 1919 and returned to the USSB the same day. She was sold in 1920 to Lloyd Royal Belge Society in Brussels, Belgium and turned into a cruise liner. She was then renamed Nipponier.
LAKE CHAMPLAIN was laid down March 3rd, 1986at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagula, Mississipi and commissioned a little over two years later. Always a West Coast Ship, she sailed soon after her commissioning ceremony for San Diego, testing her mettle against the furious seas of the Straits of Magellan. LAKE CHAMPLAIN has deployed to the Western Pacific ten times, including operations in support of Desert Shield, Desert Storm, enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq, and recently in support of the global war on terror. Armed with Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, Standard SM-2 Surface to Air Missiles, two 5 inch Dual Purpose Guns, and two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, LAKE CHAMPLAIN is a truly modern battle machine – but is little more than welded steel and microchips without her crew of over 350.
Commissioned: New York, NY; 12 AUG 1988
The shield’s dark blue and gold are the traditional colors associated with the Navy and symbolize the sea and excellence. The green and white border around the blue field represents the Lake Champlain and the surrounding terrain where two significant naval battles were fought. The first, the Revolutionary War Battle of Valcour Island, is symbolized by the white star on the crest. The second, the War of 1812 Battle of Lake Champlain, is represented by the anchor and cannon on the blue field. The partitions of the border suggest rotation or turning and allude to the American ships movements during the Battle of Lake Champlain. The vertical position of the naval gun exemplifies the vertical capabilities of CG 57.
The ship’s motto is, Ingenuity Daring Discipline and this gold version of the buckle is dedicated to the officers that lead her valiantly.
Each buckle measures a 3.25 inch x 2.25 inch oval shaped.