Admiral William S. Preston
|Admiral William S. Preston|
The Admiral William S. Preston was a Black Lion-class battlecruiser serving as the CSA William S. Preston within the Clan Star Adder touman at least as early as the 3050s. During the Trial of Absorption fought against Clan Burrock the Admiral William S. Preston was drawn into battle against the forces of Clan Blood Spirit, which was trying to absorb a number of Burrock holdings. The Admiral William S. Preston was acting in support of the Star Adder Gamma Galaxy and fought against the Blood Spirit flagship, the CBS Carmine Justice, which was providing naval support for the Blood Spirit Beta Galaxy. The Carmine Justice was destroyed in the resulting battle, killing the senior naval officer within the Blood Spirits, Star Admiral Phen Johns.
Wars of Reaving
When the Khans of Clan Steel Viper and the Star Adders resolved to make an opportunistic strike against the last Clan Snow Raven convoy to try and leave the Homeworlds, the Admiral William S. Preston was one of the Star Adder WarShips directly involved. The Star Adders assigned a Star of naval vessels to the strike; the Admiral William S. Preston was the lead vessel, accompanied by the Fredasa-class corvette CSA Arcadian Asp, the York-class destroyer CSA Exodus Crusader and the Lola III-class destroyers CSA Hagar and CSA Warlock. Overall command of the Star Adder and Steel Viper forces was given to Star Commodore Terrence Moffat, who brought three Steel Viper WarShips with him; the Steel Viper flagship, the Leviathan Prime-class battleship CSV Perigard Zalman, and two escort vessels, the Essex-class destroyer CSV Martial Legacy and the Potemkin-class cruiser CSV Serpentes.
The Snow Raven convoy consisted of the Hellgate Battle Star - a Star of four WarShips captured from Clan Goliath Scorpion by the Snow Ravens, the Potemkin-class CSR Enceladus and CSR Prometheus, the Lola III-class CSR Sagitta and the Congress-class frigate CRS Garlon - and no less than one hundred and nine JumpShips all travelling slowly away from Hellgate. Anticipating that the Snow Ravens would move via the Snow Raven guidepost at Ghent, the Steel Vipers arranged to seize or destroy the convoy there.
On the 29th of July 3072 the Steel Viper force jumped into the Ghent system, arriving in the middle of the vast Snow Raven convoy, and Commodore Moffat issued his Trial of Possession bid to Star Admiral Anta McKenna, claiming all of the ships at his disposal as his bid. Admiral McKenna accepted the Viper bid as-was and declared all of her forces in defense. What Admiral McKenna hadn't realized was that Star Adder Star of vessels was waiting to join the Steel Vipers; skirting the boundaries of honor, Moffat neglected to inform McKenna of the additional forces and only communicated their presence less than a minute before the Steel Viper vessels began firing on the Ravens.
Moffat didn't limit his targets to the four Raven WarShips defending the convoy and their attached escorts; instead, he had the Perigard Zalman open fire on whatever targets were in range, with the first Raven ships destroyed being fifteen JumpShips. The Martial Legacy proceeded to work in tandem with the Serpentes against the Ravens, first targeting and destroying the Sagitta, which had still been carrying the damage inflicted on it from the Trial of Possession in which the Ravens had acquired the Hellgate Battle Star from the Scorpions. In response, the Enceladus managed to inflict some damage on the Serpentes before the Perigard Zalman blocked both the Serpentes and the Martial Legacy from fire from the heavier Raven ships.
Despite the best efforts of the Ravens, the battle was effectively a foregone conclusion once the Star Adder forces jumped in. The Ravens still managed to cripple the Serpentes when the Garlon intercepted the Serpentes as it attempted to close on a group of JumpShips. The Prometheus was destroyed quickly by the Star Adders, the Warlock and the Admiral William S. Preston destroying the Prometheus on their first pass; her sister vessel Enceladus then worked with several Raven DropShips to gut the Admiral William S. Preston before being destroyed in turn by the Arcadian Asp, and the Perigard Zalman accounted for the Garlon. None of the Raven AeroSpace or combat DropShip forces answered Moffat's single call to surrender, instead fighting until they had all been destroyed.
Moffat's actions secured the Steel Vipers and the Star Adders a total of fifty Raven JumpShips and almost eighty full DropShips of cargo as isorla; at least sixteen Raven JumpShips managed to escape, although only thirteen were eventually reclaimed by the Ravens. The Serpentes was scuttled, although the Vipers claimed the Garlon as salvage; the Star Adders tagged the various other Raven hulks and marked their courses with a view to later stripping the hulks for materiel. The Star Adders and Steel Vipers then spaced any Raven civilians considered unnecessary before moving their booty back to their holdings.
The name Admiral William S. Preston is likely a reference to the pop culture figure William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. from the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. The other lead character from the same film, Theodore Logan, is referenced via another former SLDF WarShip, the Black Lion-class SLS Theodor Logan detailed in another BattleTech sourcebook, Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1.
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 30, "Blood Guard Keshik and the Naval Reserve"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 119, "Naval Assets"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 50, "Naval Assets"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 102-104, "Raven's Dirge"