Designed during a period of great expansion throughout the Federation, the Napier-class light cruisers were meant to ferry personnel and supplies between Federation member worlds at a bare minimum of expanse. This meant that, while reliable, these ships were cramped, cheaply-made and poorly armed; instead of finished walls the corridors were lined with conduits and piping, and quarters were often cramped by the presence of sensory or life support equipment. The crews of the twenty-two completed vessels often complained of poor lighting and sardine-can conditions, which is one reason the Napier-class ships were decommissioned some twelve years after they were adopted by Starfleet.
The U.S.S. Whitman (NCC-1195) transported many Federation dignitaries during her ten-year career, but her true fame came long after she was decommissioned. After being sold to a commercial freight consortium, the Whitman (renamed the S.S. Victoria Symonds) shuffled cargo between Earth and the Centauri system for thirty years. However, this boring existence soon came to an end when, in 2228, a splinter group calling itself the Sons of the True Earth hijacked the ship and attempted to ram a Starfleet vessel holding two Klingon dignitaries. The U.S.S. Baton Rouge managed to destroy the ship before it could get within 2,000 kilometers of the dignitaries' ship, and a tentative cease-fire was ultimately arranged.
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This page was created on September 1, 2000.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.