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The Essex-class SLS Cape Bon was one of the WarShips accompanying the Potemkin-class troop cruiser SLS Ulithi as it carried the 295th BattleMech Division of the Star League Defense Force to Buffalo Meadows in the Draconian Drift region of the periphery.
The 295th had tried to follow Aleksandr Kerensky and his Operation Exodus, but was delayed by technical problems with their transport (implicitly, the Ulithi). As of 8 July 2785 the 295th had arrived at the Buffalo Meadows zenith jump point. There, it was said that the Ulithi under Commodore Sarah Mbeki had made her last jump, and apparently could not travel any further. Although at least two destroyers (SLS Cape Bon and SLS Protecteur) and a handful of JumpShips which could carry at least a dozen DropShips between them were present, the 295th decided to set up a colony on Buffalo Meadows; however, the colony failed and died out after some 80 years due to an insufficient birth rate.
Context suggests that the decision to settle on Buffalo Meadows was made because the Ulithi alone had apparently carried some two thirds of the unit's entire DropShip contingent. The fate of the other ships including the Cape Bon was not specified; they might have moved on. No mention was made of salvaged WarShips or JumpShips after the lost colony was re-discovered centuries later. (If the Buffalo Meadows colony had retained jump-capable vessels, they could have stayed in contact with other settlements; that they died out seems to indicate they did not retain them.)
- The Cape Bon is simply described as an Essex-class destroyer, which from the context strongly suggests that it is in fact the Essex II class (which is commonly referred to as simply Essex). The Capellan Confederation had actually restarted production of the outdated earlier Essex I class around the time of the fall of the Star League and it thus cannot be ruled out that the Cape Bon was one such vessel. At the same time, the 295th BattleMech Division was an elite unit with their own Potemkin, close to "Royal" status, and thus generally equipped with top-notch equipment; this makes it even less likely that they of all units would have been straddled with an obsolete Essex I.
- The Periphery, 2nd Ed., p. 91
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