All Ticonderoga Class AEGIS Cruisers are named for great American battles. USS MONTEREY (CG-61) commemorates the battle fought on 20-24 September, 1846, in the war with Mexico.
On the 19th of September, General Zachary Taylor, with a force of 6,625 men, arrived at Monterey. The city which sprawled before Taylor presented a formidable aspect to the would-be conqueror. Monterey's southern and eastern limits rested on the Santa Catarina river, relatively safe from assault. Southwest and just across the river from Nueva Leon's capital stood Federation Hill, from which a single-gun redoubt and Fort El Soldado Commanded the city. Directly across the river from these works, and even more imposing, rose the precipitous Independence Hill, boasting a sandbag redoubt on its western end and a fortress, Bishop's Palace, on the east. North of the city stood Fort Black, a massive stone work mounting twelve guns. East of it, next to the river, was Fort Teneria with four guns and behind it, a well-manned, fortified tannery. Two hundred yards south stood Fort Diablo. Throughout Monterey houses were fortified with loopholes and sandbags, and streets had been barricaded. Garrisoning the awesome labyrinth of defenses were 10,000 regular troops led by General Pedro de Ampudia.
Starting on the morning of 20 September, Taylor stormed the heavily defended city. The Bishop's Palace fell to the Americans on 21 September. The Americans were forced to take each house in succession, because the houses were solidly built and streets strongly barricaded. The battle lasted until 23 September, with the Mexican forces contesting every foot of ground until only the Citadel remained in their possession. On the morning of 24 September, General Ampudia surrendered. He and his army were permitted to march out with honors of war.
Three previous Navy ships have been named MONTEREY; a screw tug which served in San Francisco Bat from 1863 to 1892; Monitor No. 6, which was commissioned in 1893, serving in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection; and the WWII aircraft carrier, which won 11 battle stars.
The present Monterey is the sixteenth AEGIS cruiser to join the fleet, and the fourth built by Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. She takes her place in the coordinated Battle Group utilizing her AEGIS Weapons System, SPY-1B radar, SM-2 surface-to-air guided missiles, and SQQ-89 USW suite in defense of the Battle Group against hostile aircraft, cruise missiles, and submarines. MONTEREY has been designed and built to fight in a multi-threat environment, and possesses an new long range strike capability in her Tomahawk and Harpoon cruise missiles. She also supports two LAMPS MK III Helicopters. MONTEREY was launched on 23 October, 1989, conducted her first sea trials in November, 1989 and was commissioned on 16 June, 1990. MONTEREY'S homeport is Norfolk, Virginia.