May 13th, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lou Reda/610.258.2957
In honor of Memorial Day, History International premieres the series HERO SHIPS
On Monday, May 26
True accounts of bravery, sacrifice and glory told by the sailors who were
on the front lines, and on deck
A Lou Reda Production
NEW YORK, MAY 6, 2008 They took the fight to the enemy, shelled foreign coasts long
into old age and sailed underneath the polar ice-caps, but even though these ships are arguably
the most prestigious vessels in American history, they would have been sent to the scrap heap
long ago if it hadnt been for the men who served on them and refused to let go. HERO
SHIPS will premiere on Monday, May 26 at 8pm ET, on History International.
With high definition footage and gripping interviews, HERO SHIPS is a journey through time,
exploring some of the most magnificent ships in US Naval history. Each episode shows the
evolution of one ship and retraces the most dramatic moments from her history. In many cases,
the ships were forgotten by their country and destined for sale or destruction before veterans
groups stepped in to save them. Now, these hero ships are moored in some of the nations
biggest cities, floating museums and gateways to a time when grey-skinned battlewagons
prowled our imaginations.
HERO SHIPS: USS Arizona (Monday, May 26 at 8pm ET) In this inside look, underwater
photography beneath Peal Harbor reveals not only the damage sustained in her last battle but
also how much she has degraded over time. We now think of her only in death but in life she
was one of the most innovative warships of her kind, and one of the most iconic ships in
American history. The USS Arizona is a national cemetery as well as national monument, with
900 crew members buried within the vessel.
HERO SHIPS: USS Enterprise (Monday, May 26 at 9pm ET) The original Enterprise,
CV-6, gained immortality as The Fighting Lady of World War II. But despite her glorious
history, she was sent to the scrap yard, only to be redeemed in the 1957 launch of CVN-65, the
worlds first nuclear-powered carrier. Today the USS Enterprise remains on the high seas and
in the front lines of Americas military engagements.
HERO SHIPS: LSTs (Monday, May 26 at 10pm ET) Landing Ship Tanks werent
deemed noble enough to have names. They were not thought of as warships even though they
were always the first floating metal to touch beaches from North Africa to the Philippines. The
story of these ships exemplifies the collective saga of a design class that had absolutely no
military precedent before the first keel was laid in June of 1942.
**Starting June 1st, HERO SHIPS will air new episodes each Sunday at 11pm ET.
Specific airdates for the following episodes are TBD.
HERO SHIPS: USS Constitution Also known as Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution holds
steady as one of the U.S. Navys most powerful accomplishments in craftsmanship and
endurance. It is one of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Navy Act of
1794, and today still remains afloat, serving as a training facility for the Navys CPO.
HERO SHIPS: USS Nautilus The name was passed along Navy surface ships from the War
of 1812 through the Mexican War, and then eventually given to submarines beginning in World
War I. During World War II, the name landed on a unique sub equipped with two six-inch
guns designed to combat destroyers and cruisers, yet big enough to be assigned to deliver
massive amounts of cargo to Marine raiders. From 1951 through 1979, the replacement USS
Nautilus completed numerous successful voyages, including sailing under the polar icecap.
(June HERO SHIPS: USS Hornet One of the most heroic ships of World War II, CV-12 served as
the flight deck for the Doolittle Tokyo raid, and its predecessor ship, the CV-8, endured 16
months of non-stop combat action, coming within 40 miles of Japan, and setting incredible
wartime records. Some of those feats included: 10 of its pilots reached Ace in One Day
status, over 1,400 enemy planes destroyed, and a considerable amount of its Hellcat pilots
became aces. (June 15) HERO SHIPS: USS Texas A technical and historical thumbnail of the US Navy from 1912
through 1945, the USS Texas fought in some of the most horrendous naval battles of the 20th
century, including D-Day Normandy, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Today shes been renovated and
set up as floating museum in LaPorte, TX, a glorious reminder of two great wars. (June 22)
HERO SHIPS: USS New Jersey Americas most decorated surviving warship, the USS
New Jersey has fought in more battles than any other fighting ship in US naval history. From
WWII, to Korea and Vietnam, Lebanon and Syria, the USS New Jersey was on the front lines,
lending support in every major engagement. This episode of HERO SHIPS includes the
emotionally stirring first reunion in three decades of two shipmates who served together on the
USS New Jersey during Vietnam. (June 29)
HERO SHIPS: USS Yorktown Two magnificent ships carried the same great name; the
original CV-5, was a martyred hero of the Second World Wars two pivotal battles, the Coral
Sea and Midway, sinking several Japanese carriers. CV-10, successor to CV-5, went on to
avenge the destroyed namesake through the remainder of the war.
HERO SHIPS: USS Laffey The USS Laffey was in reality two great vessels with the same
namethe first, DD-459, fought to the death in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November
1942. The second, DD-724, was at the center of World War IIs most intensely brutal
kamikaze attack, where it earned the nickname The Ship that Would Not Die. However, the
crew casualties were high: over 30 perished and another 70 were wounded.
HERO SHIPS: SS Jeremiah OBrien Not all hero ships were built for battle. The SS
Jeremiah OBrien served as a beacon of hope as it was one of many liberty ships that kept the
supplies flowing. The ship miraculously survived the D-Day invasion, and is currently
harbored in San Francisco, and participates in Fleet Weeks and cruises across the world.
HERO SHIPS: USS New York This episode reveals how the latest ship to be named USS
New York is assembled; an Amphibious Dock Ship, and one of the most technologically
advanced vessels in Americas arsenal, reinforced with steel from the World Trade Centers. Its
predecessor, the battleship New York, born in 1911, was present during the German High Seas
Fleet at Scapa Flo in 1918. Later modernized, it fought a two ocean war in World War II.
HERO SHIPS: USS Samuel B. Roberts The first Samuel B. Roberts, DE-413, perished in
the greatest naval battle ever fought. In October 1944, as part of minimal force protecting jeep
carriers in Leyte Gulf, the vessel faced a tremendously superior Japanese fleet. Fighting to the
death, the DE-413 was able to fend off much of the Japanese force before sinking to the bottom
of the ocean. The name Samuel B. Roberts appeared two more times, including the FFG-58,
launched in 1984, participating in Desert Storm, and today is on-call for homeland security.
HERO SHIPS is produced by Lou Reda Productions for History. Executive Producer for
History is Michael Stiller. Executive Producers for Lou Reda Productions are Lou and Scott
LOU REDA PRODUCTIONS is internationally recognized as one of the
nations outstanding documentary filmmakers, producing programs of the highest
quality for cable and network television. To learn more about Reda go to
HISTORY CHANNEL INTERNATIONAL gives viewers a global perspective
with original programming that makes a world of difference.
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