By 2263, the Lydia Sutherland was under the command of 29-year old Commander James T. Kirk, with Gary Mitchell serving aboard also and had a crew complement of about half the crew Kirk would later have on the USS Enterprise.
In early 2263, the Lydia Sutherland was dispatched as part of a flotilla to the planet Ghioghe to confront an unspecified opponent. After a tense stand-off Commander Kirk could begin to see it all fall apart, and would later say that if the flotilla commander held off hostilities for just a little longer, the situation would have resolved itself.
Unfortunately, battle was joined and the Lydia Sutherland ("a great little cruiser" - Captain Kirk) was left as a broken hulk at the Battle of Ghioghe, although most of the crew were saved and Kirk and Mitchell managed to escape in an escape pod. During this escape, Kirk had the harrowing experience of literally holding together his best friend's heart after discovering an unsuspected wound.
Kirk's promotion to Captain came after this battle while he was in regenerative therapy himself for a knee injury for three months, going in spring and coming out in summer. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
- This ship seems to have been named for two of the ships commanded by C.S. Forester's fictional 18th century naval hero Horatio Hornblower: the 36-gun frigate Lydia and the 74-gun ship of the line Sutherland.
|Ships named Sutherland|
|Shuttlecraft Sutherland • USS Lydia Sutherland • USS Sutherland (in service in 2330s) • USS Sutherland (NCC-72015, Nebula-class) • USS Sutherland (Aegian-class)|