Monticello is the name of Thomas Jefferson's estate near
The house, of Jefferson's own design, is
situated on the slope of a small hill (his "monticello") in the
Southwest Mountains of Virginia.
Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas
Jefferson, designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than
The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's
home, conceals a billiards room. In Jefferson's day, billiards were
illegal in Virginia.
An image of Monticello is featured on
the reverse of the 5 cent coin of the United States of America, and on
the version of the back side of the two dollar bill. The two dollar
banknote is still one of the least-common denominations of U.S.
currency. Because of its rarity, Americans remain remarkably
superstitious about spending it, which further decreases its
circulation. It is in fact so rare that cash registers and other
money-handling machinery (such as vending machines) do not accommodate
it at all. Many Americans have never held or spent one.
USS Monticello (1861-1865).
Briefly named Star in May 1861
The first USS Monticello, a 655-ton screw steam
gunboat, was built at Mystic, Connecticut, in 1859 for civilian use.
Chartered by the Navy in May 1861, she was named Star for a few
weeks and then reverted to the name Monticello. She was purchased by the
Navy in September 1861. Her Civil War record was a busy one, involving
active employment in the blockade of the Confederacy's Atlantic seacoast
and the capture of several prizes. She took part in early wartime
actions in the James River area of Virginia and in the August 1861
capture of Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
In 1863-65, Monticello was commanded by the celebrated
naval hero William B. Cushing, and members of her crew were involved in
many of his exploits. She accidentally rammed and sank the gunboat USS
Peterhoff on 6 March 1864. In December 1864 and January 1865, she
participated in the attacks on and capture of Fort Fisher, N.C. USS
Monticello was decommissioned in July 1865 and sold the following
November. She subsequently became the merchant steamer Monticello, and
was so employed until she sank off Newfoundland in April 1872.
Shown here before the war, USS Monticello was originally the Italian
USS Monticello AP-61
The second USS Monticello (AP-61) was built in 1928 as Conte Grande by
Stabilimento Tecnico, Triestine, Trieste, Italy; as an Italian-flagged
ship, interned in Brazil at the opening of World War II; purchased on 16
April 1942 by the United States; and commissioned the same day in
Brazil, CAPT Morton L. Deyo in command.
Monticello sailed north for conversion to a transport at Philadelphia,
completed 10 September 1942. She left New York on 2 November for the
invasion of North Africa, carrying troops to Casablanca. Returning to
New York, she sailed again on 25 December, carrying men for the various
commands of the China-Burma-India Theater to Karachi, by way of the
Panama Canal, Australia, and Ceylon.
The transport returned to New York on 24 April 1943, carried
reinforcements to Oran on two voyages, then sailed from Africa to San
Francisco by way of the Panama Canal. Through the first half of 1944,
she carried men from San Francisco to Californian ports, Australia,
Hawaii, and the burgeoning bases of the South Pacific. In June 1944,
she began the first of a series of transatlantic voyages bringing men to
win victory in Europe, operating with a Coast Guard crew after 6 August
1945. She decommissioned at Norfolk on 22 March 1946 and returned to
the War Shipping Administration for disposal on 27 May 1946. She was
returned to the Italian government in June 1947.
Source: Dictionary of American Naval
USS Monticello LSD 35
The third Monticello
(LSD-35) was laid down 6 June 1955 by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp.,
Pascagoula, Miss.; launched 10 August 1956; sponsored by Mrs. Harry R.
Sheppard, wife of Congressman Sheppard of California; and commissioned
29 March 1957, Capt. J. T. Hodgson, Jr., in command.
After outfitting and
trials off the East Coast, Monticello arrived at her homeport,
San Diego, 27 May 1957 to join Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, and
immediately began shakedown training. She continued to operate off the
Pacific coast, joining in major amphibious training operations which
took her to Eniwetok in 1958 and Hawaii and Alaska in 1959, serving
usually as primary control ship. Such operations, involving ships of all
types along with underwater demolition teams and Marines, keep the fleet
at top readiness for any challenge of diplomatic crisis or war itself.
On 14 November 1960 Monticello sailed for a 7-month deployment
with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacifie. She was combat-loaded with
part of a Marine renforced battalion landing team, and was alerted four
times during the Laos crisis, steaming with Paul Revere (APA-248)
and four escorting destroyers in the South China Sea and the Gulf of
Siam. Returning to San Diego in July, Monticello joined in a
joint Army-Navy-Air Force amphibious exercise at San Juan Island, Wash.,
in September, then returned to fleet training operations from her
Monticello sailed 18 February 1962 in JTF 8 for nuclear weapons
tests at Christmas Island, first carrying cargo between Christmas Island
and San Diego, and then acting as command ship during tests of
antisubmarine weapons. In June, she sailed again to Christmas Island to
aid in closing down the test operation, and continued to a second 7th
Fleet tour of duty highlighted by a large amphibious exercise at
Okinawa. She returned to San Diego and a program of training with Camp
Pendleton marines, necessary overhaul, and refresher training early in
She again joined the 7th Fleet's Amphibious Ready Group from January to
October 1964, taking part in SEATO as well as U.S. exercises.
After operating on the Atlantic coast through much of 1965,
Monticello headed back to the western Pacific in August. Early in
1966, she steamed to South Vietnam for operation "Double Eagle," the
longest and largest amphibious operation of the Vietnam conflict up to
that time. It enabled Allied forces to engage Vietcong near Thac Tru and
secure a beachhead in a key area. At the operation's conclusion, 26
February, she headed for Subic Bay en route home via Hong Kong, Yokosuka,
and Pearl Harbor.
After overhaul at San Pedro and training along the Pacific coast,
Monticello got underway from San Diego 13 January 1967, heading
for the Far East. Much action awaited her in Vietnam. She served as
primary command ship for "Beacon Hill I" at Quang Tri 20 March to 2
April and "Beacon Star" there 22 April to 12 May. She joined in
operation "Bell" in the latter half of May, in "Beacon Torch" and "Bear
Chain" in July, and in August participated in "Kangaroo Kick," an
amphibious feint off Hue, and "Belt Drive," again at Quang Tri. Relieved
at Danang in September. Monticello returned to San Diego 13
October. After an overhaul that lasted until early 1968, Monticello
conducted refresher training and local operations out of San Diego.
In November of that year, she once again deployed to Vietnam where she
remains into 1969.
[NOTE: Monticello was decommissoned 1 Oct
1985 and transferred to the Maritime Administration on 2 Aug 1991. Her
name was struck from the Navy list 24 February 1992 and she was sold 29
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