USS Susquehanna

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The USS Susquehanna was one of the ships in fleet led by Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan in 1853-1854; in 1854, it served as Perry's flagship.

Perry and his fleet of four ships (Susquehanna, Mississippi, Plymouth and Saratoga) departed Norfolk, Virginia, on 1852/10/13 (Nov 24). Before arriving in Japan proper in July of 1853, they first called at Naha, the chief port of the Ryûkyû Kingdom, on May 26 (4/19), departing Ryûkyû on 5/3 to survey the Ogasawara Islands and returning again on 5/17;[1] following their return, Perry and his men banqueted Ryukyuan court officials aboard the Susquehanna on at least one occasion[2] before departing Ryûkyû again on 5/26, this time for Edo.

The Susquehanna and three other ships arrived at Uraga on 1853/6/3.[3]

Perry returned to Naha in January 1854 (the 12th month of the previous year, on the Japanese calendar) with a fleet of ten ships. Eli Crosby, 2nd assistant engineer aboard the ship, died several days later on Kaei 6/12/26 (Jan 24, 1854) and was buried at the Tomari International Cemetery on Okinawa Island.

Seven of these ships then returned to mainland Japan, dropping anchor outside Edo Bay on 1854/1/14 (Feb 11).[4]

On 1854/2/16, the ship's chaplain, Edmund Bittinger, wandered from Kanagawa to Kawasaki, and caused a notable disturbance; he was found by Japanese officials and returned to the ship before anything worse happened.[5]

On 1854/2/26, the Susquehanna then left for Macao, captained by a Captain Buchanan, while Perry and other members of the embassy (along with much of the fleet) remained in Japan.[6] Susquehanna returned to Shimoda on 7/23 to bury a crew member at Gyokusen-ji.[7]


  1. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 412.
  2. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 414.
  3. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 417.
  4. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 530.
  5. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 556.
  6. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 562.
  7. Ishin Shiryô Kôyô 維新史料綱要, vol 1 (1937), 634.