The Battle of Plattsburgh and Pearl Harbor

USS Macdonough (DD-351)

It seems to me that history is all about connections. Lawrence Gooley, writing in the Adirondack Almanack, notes how many ships present at the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, were named in remembrance of those who fought at the Battle of Plattsburgh of September 11, 1814. Of the thirty US destroyers at Pearl Harbor, five were named after officers or vessels which fought at Plattsburg. These were the USS Allen, Aylwin, Cassin,  Henley, and the Macdonough. Another three ships at Pearl Harbor, which had been built as destroyers but were converted to minelayers, were also named after vessels at Plattsburgh, the GambleMontgomery, and Preble.   Of the eight ships, only the USS Cassin was heavily damaged, and was initially considered lost but was rebuilt by February 5, 1944.  During the attack on Pearl Harbor, USS Macdonough downed one of the Japanese attack planes before heading out to sea to join others in the search for the Japanese task force.

The Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814 denied the British control of Lake Champlain. The lack of the lake as a supply line resulted in the turning back of an invading British army of 11,000 men, intent on redrawing the map of the fledgling United States.  Thanks to Steve Philips for passing along the Adirondack Almanack article.

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