Federation Starbase 23 - Federation Vessels

Federation Shiplist - USS Sutherland


Another of the plaques that came about from my recent deluge in all things Golden Age of Sail. The Sutherland is one of these, being one of the many ships served on or commanded by C.S. Forrester's rather complex character, Horatio Hornblower. The Sutherland is Hornblower's first command as a full post-Captain, and is a 74-gun (Third-rate) 2-decker sailing ship-of-the-line. For you non-Age of Sail enthusiasts, Ships of the First to Third Rates are classified as ships of the line, or battleships. Ships of the Fourth to Sixth Rates are classified as frigates, or cruisers in modern parlance (hence the confusion with FASA/1970s US Navy designations). So, the Sutherland is a member of the smallest of the battleship classes.

The commissioning dedication plaque of the Coventry-class light cruiser USS Sutherland NCC-1849

I agreed with Guest Author Larry Stovall that even though the Sutherland was a small battleship in Hornblower's time, it shouldn't dictate that any subsequent Sutherland be of that particular class as well. So, since I encountered a Miranda-class USS Rutherford NCC-1835 many years ago in the PC CD-ROM game 'Starfleet Academy', I thought that the Sutherland would look nice beside her, hence the plaque below.

That being the case, I almost put the Sutherland in with the new-build Miranda-class ships (NCC-1800 to 1829), but along with the Hotspur, I wanted her to have an air of legitimacy with the fanon galaxy at large. So, I put her registry number in the grey area after the Tikopai class (NCC-1800 to 1832) from 'Ships of the Star Fleet', in part as a tribute to Alex Rosenzweig's absolutely beautiful 'Miranda-class Cruiser Deck Plans', where he has the USS Miranda as NX-1833.

So, by my own registry system, this meant that the Sutherland used to be a Coventry-class light cruiser, which leads us back to the plaque above.

The re-commissioning dedication plaque of the Miranda-class light cruiser USS Sutherland NCC-1849

And below is the canon Sutherland, the TNG Nebula class that Data took command of for Picard's blockade of the Romulan border during the Klingon Civil War of 2367-68, and which was later assigned to the Ninth Fleet stationed at DS9 from 2370-74.

This plaque bears that annoying Star Trek tradition of putting inanities as the motto of a ship, in this case, a line from the Beatles 1969 hit, "Let It Be". Now, while a good song, and even a passably good quote for an exploratory vessel (it's certainly better than a flaming 'Gilligan's Island' quote!), it completely disregards the naval tradition that carries forward the naming of ships for historically notable entities of the past. Thus, I adhered to naval tradition and found the motto of the current HMS Sutherland, found on the plaque above.

For those of you too lazy to look it up, it is French for "Without Fear". I know, a British ship originally from the Napoleonic Wars era with a French quote for a motto. Well, French ships were captured during that time and recommissioned in British service still with their French names, so it isn't really that unusual.

The commissioning dedication plaque of the Nebula-class explorer USS Sutherland NCC-72015