Who were the ships named Sterett named after?
- The ships named Sterett were named after Lieutenant Andrew
Sterett, born 27 January 1778 in Baltimore, Maryland. Andrews father was a
successful shipping merchant who had served as a captain during the Revolutionary War.
Andrew was the fourth of ten children and despite his sizable inheritance, entered the
Navy as a Lieutenant on 25 March 1798 at the age of twenty. He served as Third Lieutenant
aboard the newly commissioned frigate Constellation. He was in command of a gun battery
during the undeclared war with France in which the fledgling U. S. Navy scored its first
victory on the high seas against the French frigate LInsurgente.
- By February 1800 Andrew Sterett had been promoted to First
Lieutenant and participated in successful battles against French ships. Later that year he
assumed his first command, the schooner Enterprise. This was the first US Navy ship to
bear that name.
- The Enterprise sailed to the Mediterranean with Commodore Richard
Dale to quell the Barbary pirates. Andrew Sterett and the Enterprise went up against the
pirate warship Tripoli in a furious engagement. He successfully fought off three attempts
by the pirates to board his crippled ship. Enterprise beat back all attacks and defeated
the pirates. He was presented with a sword by President Thomas Jefferson and his crew
received an additional months pay for their heroism. Following several more
dispatches to the coast of Tripoli, Sterett and the Enterprise witnessed the return of
freedom of the seas in the Mediterranean for American ships. He returned home in March of
1803 and resigned from the Navy in 1805. He pursued a career in the merchant marine and
died a premature death in Lima, Peru on 9 June 1807 at the age of thirty.
- Andrew Sterett left the U.S. Navy with a rich tradition of
determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. His bravery, gallantry and
heroism live on in the ships that bear his name.