Sturgeon SS-187 - History

Sturgeon SS-187 - History


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Sturgeon I

The first Sturgeon (SS-25) was renamed E-2 (q.v.) on 17 November 1911.

Sturgeon II

(SS-187: dp. 1,435 (surf.), 2,220 (subm.), 1. 308' b. 26'1 ; dr. 15'11" ; s. 20.9 k. (surf.) , 9 k. (subm.); cpl.75;a.821"tt.,13",4mg.;cl.Salmon)

The second Sturgeon (SS-187) was laid down on 27 October 1936 by the Navy Yard, Mare Island, Calif.; launched on 15 March 1938; sponsored by Mrs. Charles S. Freeman; and commissioned on 25 June 1938, Lt. Comdr. A. D. Barnes in command.

Sturgeon completed builder's trials in Monterey Bay and began her shakedown cruise on 15 October, visiting ports in Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica before returning to San Diego on 12 December 1938. She was assigned to Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 6 and operated along the west coast as far north as Washington. She made two squadron cruises to Hawaii with the Pacific Fleet: from 1 July to 16 August 1939 and from 1 April to 12 July 1940. The submarine departed San Diego on 5 November 1940 for Pearl Harbor and operated from there until November 1941.

Sturgeon stood out of Pearl Harbor on 10 November, headed for the Philippine Islands, and arrived at Manila Bay on the 22d. She was then attached to SubRon 2, Submarine Division (SubDiv) 22, United States Asiatic Fleet.

Sturgeon was moored in Mariveles Bay on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She put to sea the next afternoon to patrol an area between the Pescadores Islands and Formosa. A small tanker was sighted the afternoon of 9 December, but it remained out of torpedo range. The submarine found a convoy of five merchantmen accompanied by a cruiser and several destroyers on the 18th. As she came to periscope depth within attack range of the cruiser, she was sighted by one of the escorts approximately 250 yards away. She started going deep but had only reached a depth of 65 feet when the first depth charge exploded, breaking numerous light bulbs but causing no serious damage. Sturgeon began silent running and evaded the escorts. On the evening of the 21st, she sighted a darkened ship believed to be a large cargo carrier. A torpedo spread was fired from the stern tubes, but they all passed ahead of the ship due to an error in her estimated speed. The ship ended her first war patrol when she returned to Mariveles Bay on 26 December.

Sturgeon was at sea again on 28 December 1941 en route to the Tarakan area, off the coast of Borneo. A tanker was sighted southwest of Subutu Island on 17 January 1942, but all three torpedoes missed and the ship escaped. On the night of 22 January, Sturgeon was alerted by Pickerel (SS-177) that a large convoy was headed her way in Makassar Strait. A few minutes later, her sonar picked up the pings of ships dead astern. She submerged and fired four torpedoes at a large ship, with two explosions following. The submarine was then subjected to a two and one-half hour depth charge attack by two destroyers which caused no damage.

She next sighted an enemy transport and four destroyers off Balikpapan on the 26th. Sturgeon fired a spread from her forward tubes which resulted in a large explosion on the transport, and her screws stopped turning. No post-war record of a sinking could be found, but the transport was believed damaged. The submarine came to periscope level within a destroyer screen, on the 25th, but found no large target. Three days later, she made two hits on a tanker.

On the morning of 8 February, Sturgeon found herself on the track of an enemy invasion fleet headed toward Makassar City. She submerged to avoid detection by several destroyers and a cruiser, as they passed overhead, but was able to report the movement of the convoy to Commander, Submarines Asiatic Fleet. The submarine retired from her patrol area, two days later, when she was ordered to Java, Netherlands East Indies. She arrived at Soerabaja on 13 February; but, as the Japanese were advancing upon that base, the ship proceeded to Tjilatjap. After embarking part of the Asiatic Fleet Submarine Force Staff, Sturgeon and Stingray (SS-186) sailed for Fremantle, Australia, on 20 February, as escorts for Holland (AS-3) and Black Hawk (AD-9).

Sturgeon remained there, from 3 to 15 March, when she departed to again patrol off Makassar City. On 30 March, she sank the cargo ship Choko Maru. On 3 April, one of her torpedoes caught a 750-ton frigate directly under the bridge, and she was officially listed as probably sunk. She then fired three torpedoes at a merchantman but missed. With one torpedo remaining in the bow tubes, she fired and hit the target abreast the foremast. When last seen, it was listing heavily to port and making for the Celebes shore.

On 6 April, she fired a spread at a tanker; but the range was so close that they failed to arm. The submarine was then depth charged by escorts but eluded them and patrolled off Cape Mandar in the Makassar Strait. On 22 April, a destroyer's searchlight blinked to Sturgeon, and she went deep to avoid the subsequent two hour depth charge attack. On 28 April, the submarine sailed for Australia. However, she interrupted her voyage on the night of the 30th in an attempt to rescue some Royal Air Force personnel reported on an island at the entrance of Tjilatjap Harbor. A landing party under Lt. Chester W. Nimitz, Jr., entered the cove and examined it by searchlight but found only a deserted lean to. She continued to Fremantle and arrived there on 7 May.

Sturgeon refitted and returned to sea, on 5 June, to patrol an area west of Manila. On the 25th, she caught up with a nine-ship convoy before daylight, and fired three torpedoes at the largest ship and heard explosions. After some 21 depth charges were dropped by the escorts, she managed to escape with only a few gauges broken. On 1 July, Sturgeon sank the 7,267-ton transport Montevideo Maru. On the 5th, she scored hits on a tanker in a convoy northbound from Manila. Her patrol ended on 22 July when she arrived at Fremantle for refit.

Sturgeon stood out of port, on 4 September, to begin her fifth war patrol in an area between Mono Island and the Shortland Islands in the Solomons group. On the 11th, she began patrolling west of Bougainville to intercept enemy shipping between Rabaul, Buka, and Faisi. The submarine fired four torpedoes at a large cargo ship, on the 14th, but missed with all. Three days later, she fired a spread at a tanker with two apparent hits. At 0536 hours on 1 October, Sturgeon sighted the 8,033-ton aircraft ferry Katsuragi Maru. A spread of four torpedoes was fired and resulted in three hits which sent the ship to the bottom. An escort depth charged the submarine for a while and then broke off to rescue survivors. Sturgeon moved south of Tetipari Island and patrolled there until she returned to Brisbane on the 25th for repairs and refit.

Sturgeon returned to sea and began patrolling in the Trok area on 30 November. She fired four torpedoes at a Maru on 6 December and observed one hit. She missed hitting targets on the 9th and 18th. The ship withdrew from the area on 25 December 1942 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 January 1943. She was in the yard from 14 January to 11 May for an overhaul.

Sturgeon's seventh war patrol began on 12 June and ended at Midway Island on 2 August. She sighted seven worthwhile targets but was able to attack only one. That occurred on 1 July when she fired a spread at a freighter and heard two hits, causing possible damage. The next patrol, from 29 August to 23 October, was equally unrewarding, and she returned to Pearl Harbor.

On 13 December 1943, Sturgeon sailed for Japanese home waters. She sighted a seven-ship convoy with four escorts on 11 January 1944. Finding an overlapping target, she fired four torpedoes; and the cargo ship Erie Maru went to the bottom. The submarine was forced to go deep to avoid a depth charge attack and was unable to regain contact with the convoy. Five days later, she attacked a freighter and a destroyer and heard four timed hits on the targets, but the Japanese did not record the attack. Sturgeon was pinned down all afternoon by counterattacks and cleared the area at 1855. Two attacks were made on a

four-ship convoy on the 24th. One hit was registered on a Maru from the first attack while the spread fired at the other merchantman sent the Chosen Maru to the bottom. Two days later, she made a fruitless attack on two freighters, and the submarine returned to Pearl Harbor, via Midway, for refit.

Sturgeon's next assignment was in the Bonin Islands area from 8 April until 26 May and included plane guard duty near Marcus Island during carrier strikes there. On 10 May, she attacked a convoy of five merchant ships and two escorts. She made two hits on a small freighter before the escorts and an enemy plane forced the submarine to go deep. Sturgeon finally came to periscope depth and trailed the convoy until the next morning when she made an end-around run and fired four torpedoes at a freighter. Three hits put Seiru Maru under in two minutes. The submarine swung around and fired her bow tubes at another ship. Two hits were recorded; and, when last seen, the target was dead in the water, smoking heavily. The submarine began plane guard duty on 20 May and rescued three airmen before heading for Midway two days later.

Sturgeon sailed for the Nansei Shoto on 10 June to begin her last war patrol. Only two worthy contacts were made, and they were heavily escorted. The first was an eight-ship convoy which she attacked on 29 June. Four torpedoes were fired at a large ship. Four hits on the 7,089-ton passenger-cargo ship Tovama Maru sent her up in flames and to the bottom. On 3 July, Sturgeon sighted a nine-ship convoy accompanied by air cover and numerous small escorts. She registered three hits on the cargo ship Tairin Maru that blew her bow off and holed her side. She rolled to starboard and sank. The submarine went deep and avoided the 196 depth charges and aerial bombs that were rained down upon her. She evaded the escorts and returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 August.

Sturgeon was routed to California for an overhaul and arrived at San Francisco on 15 August. On 31 December 1944, the ship shifted to San Diego and sailed on 5 January 1945 for the east coast. She arrived at New London on the 26th, and was assigned to SubRon 1. Sturgeon operated in Block Island Sound as a training ship until 25 October. She entered the Boston Navy Yard on 30 October and was decommissioned on 15 November 1945. Sturgeon was struck from the Navy list on 30 April 1948 and sold to Interstate Metals Corp., New York, N.Y., on 12 June for scrap.

Sturgeon received 10 battle stars for World War II service.


USS Sturgeon SS-187 (1938-1948)

This Salmon-class, composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric submarine was laid down on October 27, 1936 by the Mare Island Navy Yard. Launched on March 15, 1938 and sponsored by Mrs. Charles S. Freeman, the USS Sturgeon was commanded by Lieutenant Commander A. D. Barnes.

After completing builder’s trials, she began her shakedown cruise on October 15, visiting ports in Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica before her return to San Diego, California on December 12, 1938. After assignment with Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 6, she operated along the West Coast until making two squadron cruises to Hawaii with the Pacific Fleet. The submarine then left San Diego for Pearl Harbor on November 5, 1940, operating from that port until the month before the Pearl Harbor attacks.


Sturgeon SS-187 - History

Pre-Launch photo of the USS Sturgeon SS 187 take on the ways at Mare Island Navy Shipyard, March 15, 1938.

In the left foreground is a Chief Musician that seems to be directing the Navy Band. A microphone is set up behind him to pick up the band music for broadcast to the area.

USS Sturgeon SS 187, commissioned on 25 June 1938, Lt. Comdr. A. D. Barnes in command.

From the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, (DANFS) we have this notation "Sturgeon completed builder's trials in Monterey Bay and began her shakedown cruise on 15 October, (1938) visiting ports in Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica before returning to San Diego on 12 December 1938. She was assigned to Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 6 and operated along the west coast as far north as Washington."

We feel strongly this photo was taken in Acapulco Harbor, Mexico maybe a week after leaving on on her shakedown cruise. A comparison of the mountains in the background match closely and some details would have changed over the span of 82 years to the skyline.

In this photo she is still wearing her class identifier, letter/number, (S6) on her bow and fairwater. This somewhat confusing system of identifying the boat at a distance was discontinued in early 1939. After that all boats prominently displayed their hull number instead.

Submarine Historian David Johnston had these comments after examining the photo in some detail "Interesting feature that I hadn't noticed before: It appears that these boats had a folding accommodation ladder that retracted into the superstructure, similar to what the V-boats had. They were located on either side [just aft] of the fairwater.

"This is the first time that I have ever seen a boat other than the V's with this ladder rigged out. I actually didn't realize that the Porpoise and Salmon/Sargo classes even had them until I saw this photo.

"Thinking about it, photos of the ladders rigged out would have been very rare. The ladders would only have been used when the boat was anchored out. They would not have been used alongside the pier or the tender. Opportunities to anchor out would have been limited. It was always preferable to pull alongside a pier. The fact that we see these ladders rigged out on the V-boats can be attributed to the fact the in the 20's and early 30's those boats made more "show the flag" visits to unprepared ports and thus used their liberty launches more."

A further note about the submarine being anchored out in the harbor, you can see her anchor chain running out of the anchor housing just aft of the 10 limber holes in the bow just above the waterline. Also, hanging from the Starboard Yardarm on the Radio Mast is a Black Ball that is the International signal for a vessel that is at anchor.

Anchoring out accounts for the lifting boom attached to the fore deck mast that would have lifted the ships boat from it storage under the deck and place it into the water. This boat would have then utilized the accommodation ladder that is talked about above. The ladder would have also been used by any officials and dignitaries from the city that were visiting the submarine. This boom was also utilized for loading Torpedoes.

A Starboard view of the Sturgeon taken some time after her commissioning but after her trial trip to South America. Commissioning pennant is flying at the top of her radio mast.

In this photo the submarine has received her 3"/50 caliber deck gun that she didn't have on her trial trip and her S6 ID numbers have been painted out.

USS Sturgeon SS 187 moored pier-side, quite possibly in San Diego but that is uncertain as there is not enough background for identification. It appears to be a public pier with the presence of a man in a suit and wearing a straw hat.

The time frame probably circa 1939 since the submarine is now wearing her hull number instead of the S6 identifier. Below the numbers and just below the handrail a boat hook is attached to the side of the fairwater.

Seen on both sides of the deck light colored squares of decking. There appears to be some modification work having gone on. There is a possibility that she had her accommodation ladders removed or modified. There seems to have been some work done on the hull at the curve of the deck.

The large line draped over the rail and snaking across the deck in most likely a shore power cable supplying electricity to the submarine.

Forward of the conning tower fairwater, laying on the deck is the boom used for lifting the ships boats from under the deck and loading torpedoes.

Several deck wrenches are clipped to the side of the fairwater and two benches for crew to sit on are there to accommodate crew with relaxing when allowed. Ships bell hangs from a bracket. This part of the deck was designated as the "Quarter Deck" where formal events were held. Though in this case the boarding gangway is forward of the Conning tower fairwater making that area the "Quarter Deck" at this time.'

After Sturgeons Sixth War Patrol she proceeded to Mare Island for overhaul and completed this in May 1943.

This Port profile view shows her war time configuration with cut down areas of the conning tower fairwater and the movement of her gun to the fore deck.

Sturgeon conducting seatrials on San Francisco Bay.

Stern view showing the lack of pre-war screw guards. These were removed from most US Submarines after Thresher had hers snagged by a Japanese seagoing tug that ensued a tug of war between the two. Thresher finally getting away.


Contents

Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon [3] was born in Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine, on 19 July 1970. [4] She is the eldest of three daughters born to Joan Kerr Sturgeon (née Ferguson, born 1952), a dental nurse, and Robin Sturgeon (born 1948), an electrician. [5] Her family has some roots in North East England her paternal grandmother was from Ryhope in what is now the City of Sunderland. [6]

Sturgeon grew up in Prestwick and Dreghorn. Her parents still live in the house she grew up in, which they bought from the local council under Margaret Thatcher's Right to Buy scheme. [7] She attended Dreghorn Primary School from 1975 to 1982 and Greenwood Academy from 1982 to 1988. She later studied law at the University of Glasgow, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1992 and a Diploma in Legal Practice the following year. [8] During her time at the University of Glasgow she was active as a member of the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association and the Glasgow University Students' Representative Council.

Following her graduation, Sturgeon completed her legal traineeship at McClure Naismith, a Glasgow firm of solicitors, in 1995. After qualifying as a solicitor, she worked for Bell & Craig, a firm of solicitors in Stirling, and later at the Drumchapel Law Centre in Glasgow from 1997 until her election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. [9]

In an interview with the BBC's Woman's Hour, Sturgeon revealed that it was Margaret Thatcher who inspired her to enter politics, because, due to rising unemployment in Scotland at the time, she developed "a strong feeling that it was wrong for Scotland to be governed by a Tory government that we hadn't elected". [10]

Sturgeon joined the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 1986, having already become a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and quickly became the party's Youth Affairs Vice Convener and Publicity Vice Convener. [11] [12] She first stood for election in the 1992 general election as the SNP candidate in the Glasgow Shettleston constituency, and was the youngest parliamentary candidate in Scotland, failing to win the seat.

Sturgeon also stood unsuccessfully as the SNP candidate for the Irvine North ward on Cunninghame District Council in May 1992, for the Baillieston/Mount Vernon ward on Strathclyde Regional Council in 1994, and for the Bridgeton ward on Glasgow City Council in 1995. [ citation needed ]

In the mid-1990s Sturgeon and Charles Kennedy went together on a political study visit to Australia. [13] [14]

The 1997 general election saw Sturgeon selected to fight the Glasgow Govan seat for the SNP. Boundary changes meant that the notional Labour majority in the seat had increased substantially. However, infighting between the two rival candidates for the Labour nomination, Mohammed Sarwar and Mike Watson, along with an energetic local campaign, [ citation needed ] resulted in Glasgow Govan being the only Scottish seat to see a swing away from Labour in the midst of a Labour landslide nationwide. Sarwar did, however, win the seat with a majority of 2,914 votes. [15] Shortly after this, Sturgeon was appointed as the SNP's spokesperson for energy and education matters.

Election to Scottish Parliament, 1999

Sturgeon stood for election to the Scottish Parliament in the first Scottish Parliament election in 1999 as the SNP candidate for Glasgow Govan. [16] Although she failed to win the seat, she was placed first in the SNP's regional list for the Glasgow region, and was thus elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament. During the first term of the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon served as a member of the Shadow Cabinets of both Alex Salmond and John Swinney. She was Shadow Minister for Children and Education from 1999 to 2000. In the role she backed Labour's efforts to repeal Section 28 - a law that banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools. There was however significant public opposition to repeal acknowledging this, Sturgeon suggested: "That is why the SNP have urged a policy for many months that we believe can provide people with the necessary reassurance, by providing a statutory underpinning to the guidelines, and resolve this difficult debate. We believe that the value of marriage should be clearly referred to in the guidelines, without denigrating other relationships or children brought up in other kinds of relationship." [17]

She also served as Shadow Minister for Health and Community Care from 2000 to 2003, and Shadow Minister for Justice from 2003 to 2004. She also served as a member of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee and the Health and Community Care Committee. [18]

Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister

On 22 June 2004, John Swinney resigned as Leader of the SNP following poor results in the European Parliament election. His then-depute, Roseanna Cunningham, immediately announced her intention to stand for the leadership. The previous leader, Alex Salmond, announced at the time that he would not stand. [19] On 24 June 2004, Sturgeon announced that she would also be a candidate in the forthcoming election for the leadership, with Kenny MacAskill as her running mate. [20] The political columnist Iain Macwhirter declared that while she “didn’t inspire great warmth”, she was “quick on her feet, lacks any ideological baggage and has real determination – unlike. Roseanna Cunningham”. [7]

However, once Cunningham emerged as the favourite to win, [7] Salmond announced that his intention to stand for the leadership Sturgeon subsequently withdrew from the contest and declared her support for Salmond, standing instead as his running mate for the depute leadership. It was reported that Salmond had privately supported Sturgeon in her leadership bid, but decided to run for the position himself as it became apparent she was unlikely to beat Cunningham. [21] The majority of the SNP hierarchy lent their support to the Salmond–Sturgeon bid for the leadership, although MSP Alex Neil backed Salmond as leader, but refused to endorse Sturgeon as depute. [22]

The results of the leadership contest were announced on 3 September 2004, with Salmond and Sturgeon elected as Leader and Depute Leader respectively. [23] As Salmond was still an MP in the House of Commons, Sturgeon led the SNP at the Scottish Parliament until the 2007 election, when Salmond was elected as an MSP. [24]

As leader of the SNP in the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon became a high-profile figure in Scottish politics and often clashed with First Minister Jack McConnell at First Minister's Questions. This included rows over the House of Commons' decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapon system, and the SNP's plans to replace council tax in Scotland with a local income tax. [25] Sturgeon defeated Gordon Jackson with a 4.7% swing to the SNP in the 2007 election in Glasgow Govan. The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the SNP the largest party by a single seat the SNP subsequently formed a minority government. Sturgeon was appointed as the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing by First Minister Salmond. In the position she saw through party pledges such as scrapping prescription charges and reversing accident and emergency closures, she also became more widely known internationally for her handling of the 2009 flu pandemic. [26] [27] She was supported in her role as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing by Shona Robison MSP, the Minister for Public Health and Sport, and by Alex Neil MSP, the Minister for Housing and Communities.

At the 2011 election, the SNP won a large overall majority. Sturgeon was retained as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing until a reshuffle one year later, when she was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Capital Investment and Cities and an additional role overseeing the referendum on Scottish independence, essentially putting her in charge of the SNP's referendum campaign. [28]

In 2012 she pledged to build a high-speed railway line between Glasgow and Edinburgh by 2024, cutting journey times between the two cities to under 30 minutes. [29] Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would "not wait" for Westminster to build a high-speed line to Scotland. However, in 2016 the plan was abandoned. [30]

In December 2012, Sturgeon said that she believed that independence would allow Scotland to build a stronger and more competitive country, and would change spending priorities to address "the scandal of soaring poverty in a country as rich as Scotland". [31]

While campaigning for a Yes vote in 2013, she told The Guardian that if Scots voted for the Union: "Will there be another referendum round the corner? No. We can't bind our successors, but we've made very clear our belief that constitutional referenda are once-in-a-generation events." [32]

During the campaign, the European Commission said that if Scots decided to leave the United Kingdom, it would also mean leaving the European Union. Scotland would then have to reapply for EU membership and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso predicted this would be "extremely difficult, if not impossible". [33] In July 2014 Sturgeon said this would put at risk the right of EU citizens to continue living in Scotland: "There are 160,000 EU nationals from other states living in Scotland, including some in the Commonwealth Games city of Glasgow. If Scotland was outside Europe, they would lose the right to stay here.” [34] [35]

On 19 September 2014, independence was rejected in the Scottish independence referendum, with 55.3% of the voters voting no and 44.7% voting yes. [36] Following the defeat of the Yes Scotland campaign, Salmond announced his resignation as First Minister and Leader of the SNP. Sturgeon immediately announced that she would be a candidate in the election to replace him, and received huge support from the SNP hierarchy. [37] [38] [39] Sturgeon said that there would be "no greater privilege" than to lead the SNP. On Salmond's resignation, Sturgeon said:

The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years. [. ] I can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the party I joined when I was just 16. However, that decision is not for today.

Following the referendum defeat, Sturgeon said that "further devolution is the route to independence". [40] She also opined that Scottish independence was a matter of "when, not if". [41]

Leadership of the Scottish National Party

On 24 September 2014, Sturgeon officially launched her campaign bid to succeed Salmond as Leader of the Scottish National Party at the November leadership election. [42] [43] It quickly became apparent that no other candidate would be able to receive enough required nominations to run a credible leadership campaign. [44] During the speech launching her campaign, Sturgeon announced that she would resign as Depute Leader, triggering a concurrent depute leadership election the MSPs Angela Constance and Keith Brown and the MP Stewart Hosie all nominated themselves to succeed Sturgeon as Depute Leader. [45] [46]

Nominations for the SNP leadership closed on 15 October, with Sturgeon confirmed as the only candidate. SNP convener Derek Mackay publicly congratulated Sturgeon as de facto leader in waiting, saying that she would be "a fantastic new leader" for both the SNP and for Scotland. [47] On this date, Sturgeon also came out on top in a trust rating opinion poll, conducted for the SNP, which indicated that 54% of the Scottish population trusted her to "stand up for Scotland's interests". [48]

At a speech in Dundee's Caird Hall on 7th November, Sturgeon pledged to be "the most accessible First Minister ever" when she took over. She also promised to hold a monthly Facebook question and answer session with members of the public, regular town hall meetings and that the Scottish Cabinet would meet outside Edinburgh once every two months. [49]

Sturgeon was formally acclaimed as the first female Leader of the SNP on 14 November 2014 at the Autumn Conference in Perth, with Hosie as her depute. This also made her First Minister-Designate, given the SNP's absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament. [50] In her first speech as leader, Sturgeon said that it was "the privilege of her life" to lead the party she joined as a teenager. [51]

First term: 2014–2016

On 18 November 2014, Salmond formally resigned as First Minister of Scotland and the election for the new first minister took place the following day. Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, stood for election. Sturgeon received 66 votes, Davidson received 15 and there were 39 abstentions. As mentioned above, the SNP's absolute majority made Sturgeon's election all but certain. [52] On 20 November 2014, Sturgeon was formally sworn into office. [53] The same day, she was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and therefore granted the style 'The Right Honourable'. [54] On 21 November, she unveiled her Cabinet with a 50/50 gender balance, promoting Finance Secretary John Swinney to become her deputy first minister. [55]

During her first First Minister's Questions after being sworn in, Sturgeon indicated her more conciliatory approach as opposed to her predecessor Alex Salmond she came into her new post "with an open mind and a willingness to hear proposals from all sides of the chamber." [56] [57]

2015 UK general election

Sturgeon took part in several Scottish and UK-wide TV election debates in the run up to the 2015 general election and according to opinion polls was regarded to have had a successful performance. [58] The SNP went on to win a landslide victory in Scotland, with 56 out of 59 seats. [59]

On 4 April 2015, a leaked memo from the Scotland Office alleged that Sturgeon privately told the French ambassador Sylvie Bermann that she would "rather see David Cameron remain as PM". This was in contrast to her publicly stated opposition to a Conservative Government on the run up to the election. [60] The memo was quickly denied by both Sturgeon and the French consulate. [61] [62] It was later noted that the memo had contained a disclaimer that parts of the conversation may have been "lost in translation" and its release had been ordered by then Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael. [63] [64] Sturgeon stated that Carmichael had "engaged in dirty tricks" and that he should consider his position as an MP. [65]

2016 Scottish Parliament election

Sturgeon contested her first election as SNP leader at the 2016 election. She campaigned on a platform of freezing tax rates - dismissing Scottish Labour's call for tax rises on the wealthy to fund public services as "reckless and daft". [66] The SNP fell two seats short of securing another overall majority, but remained the largest party in the chamber, with more than double the seats of the next-largest party, the Scottish Conservatives. [67] [68]

Sturgeon was formally nominated for a second term on 17 May, defeating Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie by a vote of 63 to 5, with 59 members abstaining. [69]

Second term: 2016–2021

2016 EU membership referendum

The UK Government held the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum to decide the future of the United Kingdom's European Union membership, in which all 32 council areas in Scotland voted by a majority for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EU. Across Scotland, 62% of voters backed the UK remaining a member of the EU, with 38% voting for the UK to leave. Overall 52% of voters in the United Kingdom voted for Brexit (leaving the EU), with 48% voting to remain. [70]

In response to the result, on 24 June 2016, Sturgeon said that Scottish Government officials would begin planning for a second independence referendum. [71] [72] Sturgeon claimed that it was "clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union" and that Scotland had "spoken decisively" with a "strong, unequivocal" vote to remain in the European Union. [73] Sturgeon said it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland could be taken out of the EU "against its will". [74]

On 24 June, Sturgeon said she would communicate to all EU member states that Scotland had voted to stay in the EU. [75] An emergency Scottish cabinet meeting on 25 June agreed that the Scottish Government would seek to enter negotiations with the EU and its member states, to explore options to protect Scotland's place in the EU." [76] [77] Sturgeon later said that while she believed in Scottish independence, her starting point in these discussions was to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU. [78] May's comments confirmed that the PM wanted the Scottish government to be "fully engaged" in the process.

Future referendum on independence

Sturgeon confirmed in June 2016 that the Scottish government had formally agreed to draft legislation to allow a second independence referendum to take place. [79] As the constitution is a reserved matter under the Scotland Act 1998, for a future referendum on Scottish independence to be legal under UK law, it would need to receive the consent of the British Parliament to take place. [80]

Prior to the day the Prime Minister triggered Article 50, formally allowing the process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, the Scottish Parliament voted 69 to 59 in favour of another independence referendum. [81] By the end of that week, on 30 March 2017, Sturgeon wrote to the Prime Minister requesting a Section 30 order, formally devolving the responsibility and power to the Scottish Government to plan for and hold another referendum on Scottish Independence. [82] Previously, May and David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, have both highlighted that as the negotiations begin with the European Union on the United Kingdom's withdraw, it is important for Scotland to work with the UK Government to get the best exit deal for both the United Kingdom and Scotland, stating that "now is not the time for another referendum". [83]

Following the 2017 UK general election, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government would postpone legislation pertaining to the proposed second referendum on Scottish independence until at least autumn 2018, when it is believed that the outcome of Brexit negotiations should become clearer. [84]

European Union membership

In response to the UK-wide vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the Scottish Government, headed by Sturgeon, launched the Scotland's Place in Europe document, a white paper setting out the Scottish Government's aims and wishes of Scotland's role in Europe post-Brexit. The paper was sent to the central British Government to be read by Prime Minister Theresa May.

In June 2017, Sturgeon criticised the approaches taken by both Theresa May and the British Government towards the Brexit approach, claiming that May "will struggle" as she is a "difficult person to build a rapport with". In the same interview, Sturgeon committed to no independence referendum being held prior to the terms of a UK wide Brexit deal being agreed and presented. [85]

With a view towards Brexit, Sturgeon demanded greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, arguing that Brexit is threatening Scotland's devolution settlement. [86] With London seeking to restrict immigration to the United Kingdom, she asserted that Scotland should be able to set its own immigration policy, as well as policies relating to employment and trade. [86]

2017 Scottish local elections

Sturgeon and the SNP went into the Scottish council elections that were held on 4 May 2017, as the largest political party in the 32 local council areas in Scotland, having 424 councillors elected to serve on the councils across Scotland. [87] Publicly speaking about the 2017 Scottish council elections, Sturgeon has said that the elections were a clear choice between voting for herself and Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, citing the stark fall in support of the Scottish Labour Party and their leader Kezia Dugdale over the past several years. [88]

While failing to win any outright overall control in any council area in Scotland, the SNP emerged as the largest political group in sixteen councils, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen for the first time. However, on a notional basis, the SNP suffered a net loss of 7 councillors compared to 2012. The party also lost its majorities in Angus and Dundee to no overall control. [89] Following the results, Sturgeon claimed that the election was a "clear and emphatic victory for the SNP", despite the large number of seats gained by the Scottish Conservatives. [90] Notably, Sturgeon's own father failed to win a council seat in North Ayrshire, amid a surge in support for the Tories. [91]

2017 UK general election

Sturgeon kicked off her election campaign pledging that a strong result for the SNP would "reinforce" her mandate for a second independence referendum. [92] However, the SNP lost 21 seats in the 2017 United Kingdom general election in Scotland and the party's vote dropped by 13.7%, although it remained the biggest party in Scotland. Sturgeon admitted that these results were "bitterly disappointing" and acknowledged that her party's plans for a second referendum were 'undoubtedly' a factor in the election results. [93] It was the best result for the Scottish Conservatives since Margaret Thatcher and the party's campaign slogan, "We said No to independence. We meant it", resonated in areas that had voted strongly for the Union in 2014. [94] Observers also concluded that opposition to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy in coastal communities was a factor behind large swings to the Tories in North East seats previously held by nationalists for decades. [95] [96]

Devolved policy areas also played a part in the campaign footage of a nurse telling Sturgeon she had been forced to use foodbanks because of the SNP's decision to freeze pay for NHS staff went viral [97] [98] and pollster Professor John Curtice told the BBC: “The SNP may want to reflect that their domestic record, not least on schools, is beginning to undermine their support among those who on the constitutional question are still willing to support the Nationalist position.” [99] Furthermore, many left-wing voters deserted the party because of the more radical, socialist manifesto put forward by Jeremy Corbyn and the British Labour Party. [100]

The campaign also saw Sturgeon allege that then Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale had told her in the aftermath of the EU referendum that Labour might drop their opposition to a second independence referendum as a consequence. Dugdale called the claim "a categoric lie", [101] while Tory leader Ruth Davidson labelled Sturgeon a "clype" [102] - a Scottish word for a tell-tale sneak. [103]

In the aftermath of the election, Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament she would "reset" her plans for a second referendum. [104] She admitted that "some voters want a break from making political decisions," adding that, "I have a duty to listen to those views and I intend to do so." [105]

Alex Salmond sexual harassment case

In January 2019, Sturgeon referred herself to an independent ministerial ethics body, which will lead to an investigation into her actions with respect to a sexual harassment case concerning allegations against Salmond. This followed her admitting that she had a secret meeting and subsequent phone call with Salmond about the Scottish government's allegations against him. She raised these with the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, Leslie Evans, two months later, rather than reporting them immediately, as she should if they constitute government matters (as per the ministerial code). Sturgeon argued that the meetings were SNP party matters, and thus not covered. The investigating panel consisted of Dame Elish Angiolini, a former Solicitor General for Scotland and lord advocate, and James Hamilton, a former director of public prosecutions in the Republic of Ireland. [106]

On 15 January 2019, the Scottish Parliament agreed to hold its own inquiry into the matter, the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, [107] to investigate how the Government breached its own guidelines in its original investigation into the harassment claims against Salmond, and then lost a judicial review into their actions and had to pay over £500,000 to Salmond for legal expenses. [108] [109] Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, was called to this inquiry to give evidence on 8 December 2020. [110] Opposition parties criticised Sturgeon on disparity and contradictions between the narratives of Murrell and herself. [111]

Sturgeon initially told parliament that she had first heard of the complaints against Salmond when he told her of them at a meeting on 2 April 2018. [109] However, 18 months later, she revised her account, saying she had forgotten about an earlier meeting, on 29 March 2018, in which Salmond's former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein told her about the complaints. [109] Critics have described this as a possible breach of the ministerial code, which states that any minister who deliberately misleads parliament should resign. [109] The 29 March meeting was not recorded: meetings on government business are meant to be recorded, but Sturgeon has said this is because it was an SNP meeting. [109] In his evidence to the committee, Salmond said there was "no doubt" that Sturgeon had broken the ministerial code in not revealing the 29 March meeting sooner and in not recording what was really a meeting about government business. [109] Sturgeon denied any wrongdoing. [109] Documents and emails published on 2 March 2021 showed that two people supported Salmond's assertion that the meeting was convened as a government, not party, matter. [112] The publication also backed up Salmond's allegation that the identity of one of his accusers had been passed to his former chief of staff, contradicting Sturgeon's statement that "to the very best of my knowledge I do not think that happened". [112]

On 4th March 2021 Sturgeon answered questions over a period of eight hours from members of the Committee. [113] She was challenged on her Government's unlawful handling of the probe against Salmond and Labour's Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie asked her: “You have described these errors as 'catastrophic'. That’s a strong word, tell me why then nobody has resigned? Nobody has taken responsibility of this, because at the heart of this two women have been let down.” [114] Sturgeon said she “deeply regretted” the mistakes her Government had made, while denying the existence of a conspiracy against Salmond. [115]

On 19 March 2021, it was reported that a majority of MSPs on the Committee had voted to affirm that Nicola Sturgeon misled the inquiry. [116] The MSPs concluded that it was "hard to believe" Sturgeon when she told Parliament she had not known about concerns of inappropriate behaviour against Salmond before November 2017. It also determined that Sturgeon gave an "inaccurate account" of what happened when she met Salmond at her home on 2 April 2018 and as such had misled the committee. [117] Subsequently, a representative for Sturgeon claimed that the committee were simply "smearing" the First Minister and being party-political. [118]

The following week James Hamilton's report cleared Sturgeon of breaking the ministerial code in a number of areas relating to her dealings with Salmond while caveating that “It is for the Scottish parliament to decide whether they were in fact misled.” [119] The Scottish Conservatives tabled a motion of no confidence in her as First Minister, a decision Sturgeon described as "bullying". [120] Holyrood Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, said that, "By misleading this Scottish Parliament, she misled the people of Scotland too. No First Minister who truly wanted to live up to the ideals of this parliament should feel able to continue in post after having been judged guilty of misleading it." [120] The motion was defeated by 65 votes to 31, with Greens MSPs voting with the Government, while Labour and the Liberal Democrats opted to abstain. [121] [122]

Two of the civil servants who made complaints about Salmond later said they felt they had been "dropped" by the Scottish Government after it lost the judicial review against him, adding they feared their experiences would make it less likely people would make complaints in the future. Labour MP Jess Phillips, a former employee of Women's Aid, accused Sturgeon of being "unprofessional with those women’s lives" and said there had been a "litany of failures in professionalism and decency." [123]

2019 UK general election

Sturgeon led her party to a landslide victory in the 2019 United Kingdom general election in Scotland. The SNP won 48 seats, and came second place in the 11 others their 45% of the vote yielded 80% of the seats in Scotland. [124] Among the election casualties was Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson, who lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire. Sturgeon was branded as "ungracious" when she was filmed by Sky News celebrating Swinson's defeat. Sturgeon apologised for being overexcited although expressed that she was celebrating Amy Callaghan's win. [125] [126] [127] [128] In the wake of the results, Sturgeon said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "no right" to stand in the way of another Scottish independence referendum after an "overwhelming" SNP election victory. She also said that the result "renews, reinforces and strengthens" the mandate for Indyref2. [129]

COVID–19 pandemic

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 occurred during Sturgeon's second term as First Minister. To contain and limit the number of affected people in Scotland, Sturgeon and the Scottish Government highlighted a number of measures advised by NHS Scotland, initially maintaining effective hand washing. [130] The first confirmed case of the virus in Scotland was announced on 1 March 2020, when a resident in Tayside had tested positive. In the following days, Sturgeon issued further advice and guidance as the number of positive cases began to increase, but had said that closures of public places such as schools and shops "would be reviewed". [130]

Initially, the Scottish Government resisted banning public events and on 12th March allowed 47,000 fans to attend a Rangers match at Ibrox, insisting that, “stopping mass gatherings [is] not the best way to contain this virus.” [131] However, on 18th March Sturgeon announced to the Scottish Parliament that all schools and nurseries in Scotland would close on 20 March to try and limit the spread of the virus. [132] On 23 March, Sturgeon issued a statement, placing Scotland on a "lockdown", limiting the reasons as to why people may leave their homes in an increase attempt to limit the spread of the virus, to protect the health of the population, as well as to ease the pressure the virus places on NHS Scotland services and workforce. [133] Since then restrictions have been frequently tightened, loosened and adapted in parts or all of Scotland to respond to developments in the situation. [134]

During the early stages of the pandemic 1,300 elderly hospital patients were transferred into care homes without receiving a negative coronavirus test result. [135] Many had been infected with the virus and ended up passing it on to other care home residents. [136] Over three thousand care home residents died from coronavirus [137] and Gary Smith, Scotland Secretary of the GMB, said the policy had turned “care homes into morgues”. [137] When asked by the BBC if the policy had been a mistake, Sturgeon said: "Looking back on that now, with the knowledge we have now and with the benefit of hindsight, yes."

In April 2020 whistle-blowers in the NHS came forward to reveal that staff were being made to reuse dirty personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work. One nurse told STV, "[When we hear the government say supplies are fine] it’s not frustrating, it’s crushing. It is absolutely crushing. We feel we are being lied to." [138] Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament in July, "At no point within this crisis has Scotland run out of any aspect of PPE. We have worked hard to make sure that supplies are there, we’ve worked hard overcoming challenges that we have faced along the way." [139]

In February 2021 Audit Scotland published a report that concluded the Scottish Government had not prepared adequately for a pandemic. While it commended the authorities for preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the crisis, the watchdog also noted that recommendations from pandemic planning exercises in 2015, 2016 and 2018 had not been fully implemented. One particular problem it highlighted was that not enough had been done to ensure Scottish hospitals and care homes had enough personal protective equipment . Overall, it concluded that ministers "could have been better prepared to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic". Nicola Sturgeon said there were "lots of lessons to learn". [140] [141]

In March 2021, the Court of Session declared that the Scottish Government's prohibition on communal worship, imposed during the pandemic, was unlawful. [142] This followed an open letter two months earlier, written by 200 church leaders to Sturgeon, warning her that the prohibition could be unlawful. [143]

In April 2021 Scotland's death toll from coronavirus passed 10,000. [144] [145]

At a session of First Minister's Questions in June 2021, Sturgeon was asked about mistakes made early on in the pandemic and she replied: "If I could turn the clock back, would we go into lockdown earlier than we did? Yes, I think that is true." [131]

Drugs Crisis

Between 2014-15 and 2018-19 the Scottish Government cut funding for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships by 6.3% in real terms. [146] In December 2020 figures were released revealing that 1,264 people in Scotland had died from drug overdoses in 2019 - the highest number in Europe per head and more than double the figure for 2014. [147] Sturgeon sacked her Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick and in April 2021 said of the crisis: "I think we took our eye off the ball." [148]

The crisis has particularly impacted the homeless in Scotland 216 homeless people died in Scotland in 2019 - an increase of 11% on the previous year and of which over half (54%) were drug related. [149] Per head, Scotland's death rate among the homeless is the highest in Britain. [150] During a session of First Minister's Question in February 2021 Sturgeon said there were "differences of opinion" as to whether an eviction ban would help tackle the crisis. [151]

Education

In 2015 Sturgeon said that she planned to make education her "defining priority" while in office. [152] In particular, she said she hoped to focus on closing the attainment gap between the richest and poorest children in Scottish schools, telling journalists: “Let me be clear – I want to be judged on this. If you are not, as First Minister, prepared to put your neck on the line on the education of our young people then what are you prepared to. It really matters.” [153]

In 2021 Audit Scotland concluded that, "Progress on closing the poverty-related attainment gap between the most and least deprived school pupils has been limited" [154] and fell short of the Government's aims. [155] In some local authorities the attainment gap between the richest and poorest students had widened. [155]

Transgender Rights

Ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, Sturgeon pledged to review and reform the way that trans people change their legal gender. [156] However, proposed changes to Scotland's Gender Recognition Act that would have allowed people to change their identity through self-identification, rather than a medical process, were paused in June 2019. [157] Critics of the changes within the SNP had accused Sturgeon of being "out of step" on the issue, and expressed concerns that the reforms would be open to abuse and allow predatory men into women's spaces. [157] [158] The Scottish Government said it had paused the legislation in order to find "maximum consensus" on the issue [157] and commentators described the issue as having divided the SNP like no other, with many dubbing the debate a "civil war". [159] [160] [161]

In April 2020 the reforms were again delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. [162]

In January 2021 a former trans officer in the SNP's LGBT wing, Teddy Hopes, quit the party, claiming it was one of the “core hubs of transphobia in Scotland". [163] Large numbers of LGBT activists followed suit and Sturgeon released a video message in which she said that transphobia is "not acceptable" and pledged to do "everything I can to change that impression and persuade all of you that the SNP is your party and that you should come home where you belong." [164] [165]

2021 Scottish Parliament election

Sturgeon led the SNP into the 2021 election on a manifesto promise to hold a second independence referendum after the COVID-19 pandemic was over. [166]

The campaign also saw the launch of the Alba Party, led by Alex Salmond - Sturgeon's former boss, friend and mentor. The party hoped to win regional list seats - where the SNP fared poorly in 2016 due the large number of constituency seats it won - which, Salmond claimed, would lead to a “supermajority” for independence in the Scottish Parliament. [167] Two SNP MPs defected to Alba but Sturgeon rejected the tactic and attacked Salmond personally: "I know Alex Salmond very well. He makes big claims which often don't stand up to scrutiny. Alex Salmond is a gambler. It is what he enjoys doing. But this is not the time to gamble with the future of the country." [168] Journalist Alex Massie opined in The Times that Sturgeon's attacks on Salmond's judgement were also an indictment of her own: "Every criticism of Salmond is a criticism of Sturgeon and her judgement too. When, precisely, did Salmond become a fantasist forever making claims that “don’t stand up to scrutiny”? When did he become a “gambler” recklessly endangering the country’s prospects? Was it when he fell out with Nicola Sturgeon, or was it something that was there all along?" [169]

In the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 64 of the 129 seats contested. [170] The SNP won a fourth consecutive election, albeit short of an overall majority, with a record number of votes on both the constituency and regional vote [ failed verification ] as well as increasing their share of the constituency vote and making a net gain of one seat. [171] [172]

Third term: 2021–present

Sturgeon was nominated for the post of First Minister by a vote of the Scottish Parliament on 18 May, defeating Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie by 64 votes to 31 and 4 respectively. This win resulted in Sturgeon becoming the first First Minister in the history of the Scottish Parliament to form a third government. Shortly after being elected, Sturgeon appointed John Swinney to the newly created position of Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery. [173]

International relations

While foreign policy remains a reserved matter, [174] Sturgeon has undertaken a number of visits to Europe, North America and Asia to promote Scotland as a place of investment and Scottish businesses to trade and do business with. [175] [176] [177] Sturgeon has committed to strengthening links between Scotland and the African continent. [178]

In response to the Brexit vote, to discuss Scotland's interests, Sturgeon travelled to Brussels to meet with both Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission as well as Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament. [179] [180]

United States

Sturgeon was highly critical of Donald Trump and his policies during the 2016 United States presidential election and had publicly backed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. [181] Sturgeon highlighted her disapproval of his language and views relating to sexism and misogyny, and stated upon Trump's victory that she hopes "Trump turns out to be a president different to the one he was during his campaign and reaches out to those who felt vilified by his campaign". [182]

Sturgeon had previously stripped Trump of his ambassadorial role for Scottish businesses with the Scottish Government in the aftermath of Trump's views of an outright ban of Muslims from entering the United States. Sturgeon claimed following comments made by Trump in relation to Muslims entering the United States that he was "not fit" for the ambassadorial role with the Scottish Government. [183]

Spain

In the run up to the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon offered her own personal backing and that of the Scottish Government to Catalonia in the holding of a referendum. [184] The Government of Spain criticised Sturgeon, claiming she had "totally misunderstood" the situation in Spain and Catalonia. [184] Sturgeon highlighted that Spain should follow "the shining example" that was created as part of the Edinburgh Agreement between the Scottish and British Governments that allowed Scotland to hold a legally binding referendum. [185]

Sturgeon has campaigned against replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system. [186] She has at times been a critic of austerity, saying that the UK government's "austerity economics" is "morally unjustifiable and economically unsustainable". [187] However, in 2018 she endorsed her party's Growth Commission report that pledged to reduce an independent Scotland's budget deficit as a percentage of GDP [188] - something the Institute for Fiscal Studies concluded meant "continued austerity". [189] [190]

Sturgeon has also campaigned on women's rights and gender equality, and is a self-described feminist she has argued that Scotland's feminist movement is not simply symbolic, but "sends a powerful signal about equality". [191] She has hailed Scottish feminist economist Ailsa McKay as one of her inspirations. [192]

During the April 2019 SNP Conference held in Edinburgh, Sturgeon declared a "climate emergency". She argued that Scotland's carbon dioxide emissions are irrevocably causing sea levels to rise, which could have a negative impact on Scotland's prospects of achieving Independence. [193] The SNP's blueprint for an independent Scotland in 2013 was predicated on taxes earned from domestic oil production, with Sturgeon denying a 18 billion reduction in tax income after a collapse in oil prices harmed the possibility of Scotland's economic independence from the United Kingdom. [194] In 2017 Sturgeon told the Oil and Gas UK conference that this industry could provide the infrastructure and skills to develop the domestic renewable energy sector, while stressing that "our primary aim is to maximise economic recovery of those [oil] reserves". [195] [196]

Sturgeon is a constitutional monarchist, telling journalists that it is "a model that has many merits". [197] On the day Queen Elizabeth II become Britain's longest reigning monarch, Sturgeon travelled with her to open the Borders Railway and told a crowd of well-wishers: "She [The Queen] has carried out Her duties with dedication, wisdom and an exemplary sense of public service. The reception She has received today, demonstrates that that admiration and affection is certainly felt here in Scotland." [198]

Sturgeon won the Scottish Politician of the Year Award in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2019. [199]

Forbes magazine ranked Sturgeon as the 50th most powerful woman in the world in 2016 and 2nd in the United Kingdom. [200] [201] In 2015, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour assessed Sturgeon to be the most powerful and influential woman in the United Kingdom. [202]

Sturgeon lives in Glasgow with her husband, Peter Murrell, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the SNP. The couple have been in a relationship since 2003. They announced their engagement on 29 January 2010, [203] and were married on 16 July 2010 at Òran Mór in Glasgow. [204]

Her mother Joan was the SNP Provost of North Ayrshire council, where she was councillor for the Irvine East ward from 2007 until 2016. [205] In 2016, Sturgeon disclosed that she had miscarried five years previously. [206]


Second patrol: December 1941 – March 1942 USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_section_3

Sturgeon was at sea again on 28 December 1941 en route to the Tarakan area, off the coast of Borneo. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_22

A tanker was sighted southwest of Subutu Island on 17 January 1942, but all three torpedoes missed and the ship escaped. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_23

On the night of 22 January, Sturgeon was alerted by Pickerel (SS-177) that a large convoy was headed her way in Makassar Strait. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_24

A few minutes later, her sonar picked up the pings of ships dead astern. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_25

She submerged and fired four torpedoes at a large ship, with two explosions following. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_26

The submarine was then subjected to a two and one-half-hour depth charge attack by two destroyers which caused no damage. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_27

She next sighted an enemy transport and four destroyers off Balikpapan on 26 January. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_28

Sturgeon fired a spread from her forward tubes which resulted in a large explosion on the transport, and her screws stopped turning. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_29

No post-war record of a sinking could be found, but the transport was believed damaged. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_30

Three days later, she made two hits on a tanker. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_31

On the morning of 8 February, Sturgeon found herself on the track of an enemy invasion fleet headed toward Makassar City. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_32

She submerged to avoid detection by several destroyers and a cruiser, as they passed overhead, but was able to report the movement of the convoy to Commander, Submarines Asiatic Fleet. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_33

The submarine retired from her patrol area two days later, when she was ordered to Java, Netherlands East Indies. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_34

She arrived at Soerabaja on 13 February but, as the Japanese were advancing upon that base, the ship proceeded to Tjilatjap. USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_35

After embarking part of the Asiatic Fleet Submarine Force Staff, Sturgeon and Stingray (SS-186) sailed for Fremantle, Western Australia, on 20 February, as escorts for Holland (AS-3) and Black Hawk (AD-9). USS Sturgeon (SS-187)_sentence_36


Photo Gallery

Do you enjoy sharing historically correct tales and facts with others? Is it easy for you to get acquainted with folks you don't know? Does a group of people with a shared interest appeal to you?

The Sturgeon's Mill Restoration Project crew invites you to come to the mill on the first Saturday of next month to learn more about the mill, its history and operation and how to relay this history and operation to folks who come to see this all steam-powered sawmill.

We will be there between 9am and 3pm to introduce you to this interesting piece of history and the crew that is making it possible. Contact Tim Talamantes at 763-3645 if you have any questions about becoming a docent.


Sturgeon Facts: Tips for preparing your fish

Handled properly, sturgeon makes a superior meal — it’s excellent barbecued, baked, smoked, sautéed or deep-fried. Handled poorly, it can taste fishy and take on an old-tire texture.

The survivors of a variety of fish 120 million years old, white sturgeon are bony-plated, which requires unusual dressing techniques.

Most experts recommend that any sturgeon you keep be bled immediately by cutting one or more of its gills. Dressing a sturgeon is similar to filleting most white-meat fish, except that first the bony plates, or scutes, along its back and sides should be removed, along with the fins. This requires a very sharp knife to simply slice off the scutes. The head is then removed and the filets sliced out.

Then it is advisable to remove all of the reddish fat that lines the center of the filet. This eliminates a fishy flavor that some palettes find objectionable. Thus prepared, sturgeon meat has a mild flavor. Click here to learn how to properly clean and fillet sturgeon.

The important thing about proper sturgeon preparation is that after you have cleaned or filleted the fish, the fillets must age for 48 hours in the refrigerator to achieve the proper texture and taste before cooking. After a sturgeon dies, the fibers in muscle or meat of the fish, goes into riggers and tightens up and it takes 48 hours for the fibers to relax and become soft. This aging period make all the difference in the world in the flavor and texture of the fish. Some say that soaking the fillets in milk during this 48-hour aging period will make the flavor even more mild and delicious. If cooked too soon, you will probably be disappointed. If aged properly, you will be able to toss a fillet on to the barbecue and flip it with a spatula and delicately cut it with a fork. The texture will be similar to a good piece of properly cooked Swordfish.

Sturgeon smokes very well, being a slightly oily fish. It is also excellent thinly sliced, lightly breaded and deep-fried quickly — its dense meat tends not to flake apart like that of other fish. It often is thinly sliced or scalloped before sautéing so that it can be cooked quickly.

Sturgeon can be baked or barbecued, but it can get chewy if it is extremely overcooked or if it is cooked prior to the 48-hour aging period. Some people take advantage of the texture by simply boiling sturgeon plain in saltwater and a little sugar for “poor man’s lobster.”

NOMENCLATURE AND TIDBITS
— Don’t call them barbs or horns. Don’t call it body armor. The correct term for the bony bumps along the back, sides, and belly of a sturgeon is “scutes.” These scutes often catch fishing line and nick it or completely shear if off. This is mostly likely to happen near the end of a fight when the fish is brought into shallow water where it will roll vigorously.
— While sturgeon are called “bony fish” that is technically incorrect. Their skeleton is made of cartilage, like a shark. And like shark, the leathery skin if tanned in Europe and made into handbags.
— Sturgeon have taste buds on the outside of their mouths and smell food from the tips of the four barbells around their tube-like mouth, that almost seems prehensile. This means they can actually smell and taste your bait before they put it in their mouth. The goods news is that if they decide to eat the bait and you feel a bite, it’s time to set the hook. They’re probably not going to spit the bait out.
— Sturgeon are a very primitive fish, with fossil records that date back 175 million years or more. They are also prolific and long-lived. A mature female will lay up to million eggs or more when they broadcast spawn in rapidly-flowing water in river. White sturgeon can live more than 100 years and fish that live in saltwater, except for spawning, can weigh over 1,500 pounds, while landlocked fish will still weigh 300 pounds or more.


Sturgeon SS-187 - History

Wartime History
On September 25, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attached to the Kure Naval District based at Kure. On December 15, 1941 arrives Yokosuka and departs five days later. On December 22, 1941 arrives Kure and departs four days later.

On December 31, 1941 registered as an auxiliary transport and departs for the Philippines. On January 9, 1942 arrives Davao and departs later than same day for Jolo. On January 16, 1942 departs Jolo and the next day arrives at Mendo on Celebes. On February 1, 1942 departs Menado and later that day arrives Bangka.

On June 22, 1942, embarked 1,053 Allied personnel including 845 Australian Prisoners Of War (POW) and 208 civilians then departed Simpson Harbor near Rabau bound for for Hainan Island. The ship was not marked to indicate it was transporting Allied prisoners.

On June 30, 1942 running on the surface, USS Sturgeon (SS-187) spots Montevideo Maru off the west coast of Luzon steaming at 17 knots but is too fast to approach or make an attack and tracks the ship overnight.

Sinking History
On July 1, 1942 around midnight, Montevideo Maru slows to 12 knots in anticipation of meeting a pair of destroyers to escort her. At 3:36am USS Sturgeon fired a spread of four torpedoes with two hiting in the no. 4 on the starboard side. At 3:37am sink by the stern at roughly Lat 18-35N Long 120-25 roughly 65 miles west of Cape Bojeador on Luzon. A total of nine crew, 11 guards and all 1,053 Allied Allied prisoners go down with the ship. According to sole survivor Yosiaki Yamaji, the trapped Australian prisoners trapped inside sang "Auld Lang Syne" as the ship sank. On July 20, 1942 officially removed from the Navy list.

Fates of the Crew
Roughly 70 Japanese survive the sinking and manage to deploy two life rafts. On July 3, 1942 they reach Bobon on the coast of Luzon where a Filipino guides them towards Laoag. On July 4, 1942 the Japanese are ambushed by Filipinos 55 are killed with the remainder fleeing and later hunted down. The sole survivor Yosiaki Yamaji is the only Japanese survivor that managed to reach Laoag.

Memorial
There is a bronze memorial attached to a large rock near the present day Rabaul Yacht Club in Rabaul. A memorial marker to Lark Force dedicated to members lost on the ship is located at Bitapaka War Cemetery.

One of the crew of MS Herstein was Australian Merchant Navy cabin boy James Tynan who was a prisoner aboard the Montevideo Maru and died in the sinking at age 16. He is memorialized at Adelaide River War Cemetery on the Northern Territory Memorial and Australian War Memorial (AWM) on the commemorative roll.

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USS Sturgeon

The second Sturgeon (SS-187) was laid down on 27 October 1936 by the Navy Yard, Mare Island, Calif. launched on 15 March 1938 sponsored by Mrs. Charles S. Freeman and commissioned on 25 June 1938, Lt. Comdr. A. D. Barnes in command.

Sturgeon completed builder's trials in Monterey Bay and began her shakedown cruise on 15 October, visiting ports in Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica before returning to San Diego on 12 December 1938. She was assigned to Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 6 and operated along the west coast as far north as Washington. She made two squadron cruises to Hawaii with the Pacific Fleet: from 1 July to 16 August 1939 and from 1 April to 12 July 1940. The submarine departed San Diego on 5 November 1940 for Pearl Harbor and operated from there until November 1941.

Sturgeon stood out of Pearl Harbor on 10 November, headed for the Philippine Islands, and arrived at Manila Bay on the 22d. She was then attached to SubRon 2, Submarine Division (SubDiv) 22, United States Asiatic Fleet.

Sturgeon was moored in Mariveles Bay on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor She put to sea the next afternoon to patrol an area between the Pescadores Islands and Formosa. A small tanker was sighted the afternoon of 9 December, but it remained out of torpedo range. The submarine found a convoy of five merchantmen accompanied by a cruiser and several destroyers on the 18th. As she came to periscope depth within attack range of the cruiser, she was sighted by one of the escorts approximately 250 yards away. She started going deep but had only reached a depth of 65 feet when the first depth charge exploded, breaking numerous light bulbs but causing no serious damage. Sturgeon began silent running and evaded the escorts. On the evening of the 21st, she sighted a darkened ship believed to be a large cargo carrier. A torpedo spread was fired from the stern tubes, but they all passed ahead of the ship due to an error in her estimated speed. The ship ended her first war patrol when she returned to Mariveles Bay on 25 December.

Sturgeon was at sea again on 28 December 1941 en route to the Tarakan area, off the coast of Borneo. A tanker was sighted southwest of Subutu Island on 17 January 1942, but all three torpedoes missed and the ship escaped. On the night of 22 January, Sturgeon was alerted by Pickerel (SS-177) that a large convoy was headed her way in Makassar Strait. A few minutes later, her sonar picked up the pings of ships dead astern. She submerged and fired four torpedoes at a large ship, with two explosions following. The submarine was then subjected to a two and one-half hour depth charge attack by two destroyers which caused no damage.

She next sighted an enemy transport and four destroyers off Balikpapan on the 26th. Sturgeon fired a spread from her forward tubes which resulted in a large explosion on the transport, and her screws stopped turning. No post-war record of a sinking could be found, but the transport was believed damaged. The submarine came to periscope level within a destroyer screen, on the 25th, but found no large target. Three days later, she made two hits on a tanker.

On the morning of 8 February, Sturgeon found herself on the track of an enemy invasion fleet headed toward Makassar City. She submerged to avoid detection by several destroyers and a cruiser, as they passed overhead, but was able to report the movement of the convoy to Commander, Submarines Asiatic Fleet. The submarine retired from her patrol area two days later, when she was ordered to Java, Netherlands East Indies. She arrived at Soerabaja on 13 February but, as the Japanese were advancing upon that base, the ship proceeded to TjilatJap. After embarking part of the Asiatic Fleet Submarine Force Staff, Sturgeon and Stingray (SS-186) sailed for Fremantle, Australia, on 20 February, as escorts for the tenders Holland (AS-3) and Black Hawk (AD-9).

Sturgeon remained there, from 3 to 15 March, when she departed to again patrol off Makassar City. On 30 March, she sank the cargo ship Choko Maru. On 3 April, one of her torpedoes caught a 750-ton frigate directly under the bridge, and she was officially listed as probably sunk. She then fired three torpedoes at a merchantman but missed. With one torpedo remaining in the bow tubes, she fired and hit the target abreast the foremast. When last seen, it was listing heavily to port and making for the Celebes shore.

On 6 April, she fired a spread at a tanker but the range was so close that they failed to arm. The submarine was then depth charged by escorts but eluded them and patrolled off Cape Mandar in the Makassar Strait. On 22 April, a destroyer's searchlight blinked to Sturgeon, and she went deep to avoid the subsequent two-hour depth charge attack. On 28 April, the submarine sailed for Australia. However, she interrupted her voyage on the night of the 30th in an attempt to rescue some Royal Air Force personnel reported on an island at the entrance of Tjilatjap Harbor. A landing party under Lt. Chester W. Nimitz, Jr., entered the cove and examined it by searchlight but found only a deserted lean-to. She continued to Fremantle and arrived there on 7 May.

Sturgeon refitted and returned to sea, on 5 June, to patrol an area west of Manila. On the 25th, she caught up with a nine-ship convoy before daylight, and fired three torpedoes at the largest ship and heard explosions. After some 21 depth charges were dropped by the escorts, she managed to escape with only a few gauges broken. On 1 July, Sturgeon sank the 7,267-ton transport Montevideo Maru, resulting in the tragic loss of over 1,100 Australian prisoners of war and civilian detainees. On the 5th, she scored hits on a tanker in a convoy northbound from Manila. Her patrol ended on 22 July when she arrived at Fremantle for refit.

Sturgeon stood out of port, on 4 September, to begin her fifth war patrol in an area between Mono Island and the Shortland Islands in the Solomons group. On the 11th, she began patrolling west of Bougainville to intercept enemy shipping between Rabaul, Buka, and Faisi. The submarine fired four torpedoes at a large cargo ship, on the 14th, but missed with all. Three days later, she fired a spread at a tanker with two apparent hits. At 0536 hours on 1 October, Sturgeon sighted the 8,033-ton aircraft ferry Katsuragi Maru. A spread of four torpedoes was fired and resulted in three hits which sent the ship to the bottom. An escort depth charged the submarine for a while and then broke off to rescue survivors. Sturgeon moved south of Tetipari Island and patrolled there until she returned to Brisbane on the 25th for repairs and refit.

Sturgeon returned to sea and began patrolling in the Truk area on 30 November. She fired four torpedoes at a maw on 6 December and observed one hit. She missed hitting targets on the 9th and 18th. The ship withdrew from the area on 25 December 1942 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 January 1943. She was in the yard from 14 January to 11 May for an overhaul.

Sturgeon's seventh war patrol began on 12 June and ended at Midway Island on 2 August. She sighted seven worthwhile targets but was able to attack only one. That occurred on 1 July when she fired a spread at a freighter and heard two hits, causing possible damage. The next patrol, from 29 August to 23 October, was equally unrewarding, and she returned to Pearl Harbor.

On 13 December 1943, Sturgeon sailed for Japanese home waters. She sighted a seven-ship convoy with four escorts on 11 January 1944. Finding an overlapping target, she fired four torpedoes, and the cargo ship Erie Maru went to the bottom. The submarine was forced to go deep to avoid a depth charge attack and was unable to regain contact with the convoy. Five days later, she attacked a freighter and a destroyer and heard four timed hits on the targets, but the Japanese did not record the attack. Sturgeon was pinned down all afternoon by counterattacks and cleared the area at 1855. Two attacks were made on a four-ship convoy on the 24th. One hit was registered on a maw from the first attack while the spread fired at the other merchantman sent the Chosen Maru to the bottom. Two days later, she made a fruitless attack on two freighters, and the submarine returned to Pearl Harbor, via Midway, for refit.

Sturgeon's next assignment was in the Bonin Islands area from 8 April until 26 May and included plane guard duty near Marcus Island during carrier strikes there. On 10 May, she attacked a convoy of five merchant ships and two escorts. She made two hits on a small freighter before the escorts and an enemy plane forced the submarine to go deep. Sturgeon finally came to periscope depth and trailed the convoy until the next morning when she made an end-around run and fired four torpedoes at a freighter. Three hits put Seiru Maru under in two minutes. The submarine swung around and fired her bow tubes at another ship. Two hits were recorded and, when last seen, the target was dead in the water, smoking heavily. The submarine began plane guard duty on 20 May and rescued three airmen before heading for Midway two days later.

Sturgeon sailed for the Nansei Shoto on 10 June to begin her last war patrol. Only two worthy contacts were made, and they were heavily escorted. The first was an eight-ship convoy which she attacked on 29 June. Four torpedoes were fired at a large ship. Four hits on the 7,089-ton passenger-cargo ship Toyama Maru sent her up in flames and to the bottom. On 3 July, Sturgeon sighted a nine-ship convoy accompanied by air cover and numerous small escorts. She registered three hits on the cargo ship Tairin Maru that blew her bow off and holed her side. She rolled to starboard and sank. The submarine went deep and avoided the 196 depth charges and aerial bombs that were rained down upon her. She evaded the escorts and returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 August.


Sturgeon History

Sturgeon was born in 1856 on a site chosen because of the construction of the then - new North Missouri Railroad (now the Norfolk Southern), and it took its name from Isaac Sturgeon, president and general superintendent of the North Missouri. The town's early growth was greatly influenced by the completion of that railroad and the traffic it handled. Sturgeon at one time became the largest St. Louis-bound shipping point.

Many early Sturgeon residents were of southern birth or heritage and were sympathetic to the Confederacy during the Civil War. Federal forces occupied the town and maintained a military post here during most of the war.

Growth resumed as Missourians returned to the peacetime pursuits of commerce and agriculture which long formed the economic base of today's attractive, peaceful community. In recent decades, the economy has been strengthened by growing numbers of residents who commute to work in nearby Centralia, Columbia, Mexico and Moberly and by retirees who enjoy the obvious advantages of smalltown living.


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