August 22, 2012
By Ensign Hannah Johnston
USS De Wert Public Affairs
USS De Wert (FFG 45) continued her cruise throughout the Great Lakes to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 by arriving in her first American port of Milwaukee on Aug. 9. The crews of USS De Wert, USS Hurricane (PC 3), and the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Ville de Quebec were greeted with a warm welcome from the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin upon their arrival. Public officials including the Mayor and the Lt. Governor attended the welcoming ceremony.
More than 25 Sailors devoted part of their liberty time to help the citizens of Milwaukee through community relations projects. Some chose to visit the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee, while others stocked the shelves at the Hunger Task Force Food Pantry or served meals at a local shelter.
While on duty, Sailors gave tours of De Wert to more than 7,000 people and hosted another Distinguished Visitors reception. The city of Milwaukee gave all Sailors the chance to fully experience the city while enjoying their liberty by offering tours of the Miller Coors Brewery and Harley Davidson Factory along with Navy Night at the Wisconsin State Fair and the Air and Water show.
Fifty-two distinguished visitors joined De Wert upon her departure from Milwaukee on Aug. 14 for an eight-hour transit to Chicago. The distinguished visitors were entertained through demonstrations by the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Team, pipe patching scenarios, and an emergency flight quarters drill. The distinguished visitor cruise was capped off as De Wert rendered a 21-gun salute to the city of Chicago and anchored outside the Navy Pier.
The War of 1812, also known as America’s second war for independence, is regarded by many as the conflict that started our country’s rise to global influence. From 1812 to 1815, we fought to expand to the north and west, and to assert our rights to trade freely with other countries, without interference from Britain’s Royal Navy ships on the high seas.