This article needs to be updated with material from Turning Points: Arcturus, Combat Manual: Mercenaries, Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, Yesterday's Enemy, Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 13, Raptor's Requiem: Canticle. Once these titles clear the Moratorium period, or if they already have, please consider revisiting this article and updating it with the new material.
The Crescent Hawks were a small mercenary unit often employed by the Lyran Commonwealth.
Frequently referred to as "Katrina Steiner's personal lance", the initial Crescent Hawks were a small unit loyal to the Lyran Commonwealth, created by Katrina Steiner as an elite group for covert operations and therefore presumably part of the Commonwealth military.
In 3028 they refocused as a guerrilla force, working for Steiner, on Chara III (Pacifica) following an invasion by House Kurita, and went on to become an independent unit aligned with House Steiner, working with the famous Kell Hounds.
Based on the permission from the Archon to act independently, and on their cooperation (and eventual merger) with the Kell Hounds, the Crescent Hawks can arguably be classed as a mercenary unit despite having originally been a House military unit.
The Crescent Hawks as such have been integrated into BattleTech Canon, as has been much of their backstory. However, it remains unclear just how much of their backstory was canonized as well and how much remains apocryphal.
They were originally introduced to the BattleTech universe in the 1988 computer game, BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Inception. A 1990 sequel game, The Crescent Hawks' Revenge, picks up the story in 3028, shortly after first game ended, and continues up until the Clan Invasion.
Computer games are not generally considered Canon. However, the IP owners stated that they are "not in total denial about these sources either" and also that fluff from certain official, licensed products (namely certain computer games including those produced by Infocom) "can be assumed to be part of the shared universe as long as it is not directly contradicted, and makes sense." The two computer games featuring the Crescent Hawks are looked upon particularly favorably in terms of canonicity. Many aspects from these games' storylines were later written into canon proper through other publications, including the Crescent Hawks unit, Jeremiah and Jason Youngblood and the Crescent Hawks' connection to the Kell Hounds. It could thus be argued that the games' storylines should be regarded as canonical at least in broad strokes. The Crescent Hawks and Youngblood are directly cited in the novel Blood Legacy.
Although the original unit was conceived sometime between 3007 (when Katrina Steiner became Archon) and 3028, its history prior to 3028 remains clouded. What is known is that the unit was commanded by Jeremiah Youngblood, who piloted a Phoenix Hawk LAM, and included Commando pilot Rex Pearce. By 3028 the Crescent Hawks were apparently inactive, or possibly disbanded.
Freedom Fighters on Chara III
Cadet Jason Youngblood (son of Jeremiah Youngblood) was in the middle of a BattleMech training exercise at the Pacifica Training School when the Draconis Combine invaded the planet in 3028. What should have been a mock combat mission became serious when four Jenners engaged him in earnest, but he realized what was going on in time and escaped the destruction of the Citadel.
Jason went into hiding and later met Rex Pearce, a member of the Crescent Hawks like Jason's father Jeremiah. Together, Jason and Rex managed to rally more Crescent Hawk members and to form a small guerrilla 'Mech unit to resist the Kurita invaders. They eventually found out that the enemy forces were after a Star League cache hidden on the planet, which the Crescent Hawks happened to know about, too; Jeremiah Youngblood had found its exact location just before the invasion. With the help of Dr. Edward Tellhim they beat the invaders to their intended target and gained access. The depot held Jeremiah Youngblood's Phoenix Hawk LAM and a supply of invaluable spare parts.
The Kurita invasion faltered when a heavily armed DropShip arrived, called in from within the depot.
Following this successful venture, Katrina Steiner offered Jason Youngblood the rank of lieutenant in the LCAF, but he turned it down in order to search for his father who was missing and presumed dead after the attack on the Citadel. For this, he was given full permission, allowing his party to act independently as the Crescent Hawks.
The Reinstated Crescent Hawks
Shortly afterward they departed from Pacifica for the Kell Hounds base on Lyons, where the Leopard-class DropShip carrying the Crescent Hawks arrived in April 3029 in the middle of an attack. It was shot down and crash-landed, killing the pilot (and fourth Crescent Hawks MechWarrior), Captain Victor Stewart. The surviving Crescent Hawks and Kell Hounds together drove off the attackers, and a grateful Morgan Kell then helped the Crescent Hawks with Operation Liberty, a daring raid against the Kurita prefecture capital of Dieron to rescue Jason's abducted father from a POW prison. Further, Kell Hounds Tech Rick Anderson was permitted to become a full member of the Crescent Hawks.
Operation Liberty, conducted with a tank force of Federated Suns cavalry, succeeded in rescuing Jeremiah Youngblood. Upon returning in June 3029 Jason Youngblood, barely 20 years of age, was promoted to Captain by Katrina Steiner. She proclaimed: "In gratitude, I give you permission to make my Lance your own. The Crescent Hawks are yours to command, Captain Youngblood." Morgan Kell immediately added the offer to sign them up as "an independent unit of the Kell Hounds, free to pursue your own contracts, but under my command when I need you".
The Crescent Hawks thus became a free, semi-independent mercenary unit within the Kell Hounds under Jason Youngblood's command and achieved considerable fame. In February 3030, Kurt Graham left the unit to start his own mercenary unit. In the War of 3039, Hanse Davion employed the Crescent Hawks in many attempts to reclaim planets from House Kurita. Rex Pearce retired after the war, but his daughter Jen later joined the Crescent Hawks.
In November 3051 the Crescent Hawks, by then already a company (12 'Mechs) in size, were recalled to Arc-Royal to receive training on new 'Mechs upgraded with rediscovered technology. After a very short time in training they were called into action with the Kell Hounds to participate in the defense of Luthien together with Wolf's Dragoons against the Clans.
In December 3051, the Kell Hounds' JumpShip used a Pirate Jump Point in the Clan-held system of Kaesong on its way to Luthien. While recharging their jump drive they received a distress message from the Blazing Aces, whose presence on the planet had been detected by second-line Clan units. The Crescent Hawks moved to the planet in a Union-class DropShip, but arrived too late to save the Aces, or the life of Gideon Braver. They resumed their journey and arrived at Luthien in January 3052, where they participated in the successful defense.
Pacifica Training School
After the battle on Luthien, Melissa Steiner recalled Jason Youngblood to the Pacifica Training School to serve as training instructor because of his experience in fighting the Clans. The Crescent Hawks were removed from active combat status.
In 3072, the Kell Hounds were contacted for needed assistance by contacts of Chandrasekhar Kurita. They decided to reactivate their independent company, the Crescent Hawks; as the Crescent Hawks were described as having seen more combat than the Kell Hounds it is possible that the sub-unit had been secretly (or unofficially) re-formed prior to 3072 already, or that it was formed from the Kell Hounds' most experienced veterans.
Jason Youngblood, the last commander of the Crescent Hawks, declined to command the unit but suggested his son, Jeremiah Youngblood. In February, the unit deployed a full company of BattleMechs for a destination not disclosed to the public. Among their members were Awesome pilot Rodney Klatt. In July of the same year, they fought the Word of Blake on Ruchbah.
|Commanding Officers of the Crescent Hawks
|Jeremiah Youngblood II
The Crescent Hawks were known for favoring mobility over raw firepower, most of their members piloting more agile 'Mechs.
One tactic favored by the Hawks was known as the Fertile Crescent. In this maneuver, the mobile elements of the Hawks would sweep behind the enemy formation in a scything motion while support elements assaulted the opposite flank.
Throughout the games, the exact strength and configuration of the Crescent Hawks depends on a combination of player's choices and randomized events.
In the first game (BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Inception), the unit is essentially only a single lance (at most) of almost exclusively light 'Mechs. The player has the chance to obtain a Chameleon to start with, Rex Pearce has a Commando and at one point in the game an UrbanMech can be stolen. Other than that, the player can only acquire Locusts, Wasps or Stingers through salvaging defeated enemy 'Mechs. The Jenner is also present in the game database and might theoretically be available for salvage as well. Allegedly, some versions of the game included the Javelin and Spider as enemy 'Mechs which could (very rarely) be captured and used by the player's unit.
At the beginning of the second game (BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge) the player gets to choose among different, heavier 'Mechs. The opening screen of the game depicts a Griffin, a Shadow Hawk, an Enforcer and a Wasp which may be the unit composition at the beginning of the second game, although a Shadow Hawk is not actually available for selection in the game. The player gets to control a wide range of different vehicles and units over the course of the game as the storyline unfolds, covering some 24 years and culminating in the Battle of Luthien in early 3052.
While the selection of 'Mechs available is often influenced by the game's plot, the player is allowed selection of the Crescent Hawks' primary units at the beginning of the game's two main campaigns, filling four available slots per Lance from a selection of six BattleMechs each.
Before being deployed to Luthien, the Crescent Hawks, by then a full Company, are outfitted with a new complement of upgraded BattleMechs. The player chooses from a selection of six possible 'Mechs for each Lance:
The Crescent Hawks lost their Leopard-class 'Mech carrier over Lyons in 3029. In-game graphics also depict a (visually distinct) Leopard CV-class vessel with the Crescent Hawks unit insignia, bearing the number 114, under attack from Draconis Combine fighters. This might mean that the Crescent Hawks also had a Leopard CV which was also lost at Lyons; alternatively, it might be an error and meant to be the same (regular) Leopard that is later shown crash landed.
After the battle on Lyons in April 3029 the Crescent Hawks apparently had no DropShips of their own anymore, and subsequently traveled aboard Kell Hounds ships.
- PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM - Captain Jason Youngblood
- GRF-1N Griffin - MechWarrior Stacy Drumm
- VLK-QA Valkyrie - MechWarrior Olivar Grange
- DV-6M Dervish - MechWarrior Lee Colbrook
- COM-2D Commando - Lieutenant Rex Pearce
- JR7-D Jenner - MechWarrior Deuteronomy "Dewey" Mancini
- WLF-1 Wolfhound - MechWarrior Olaf Gunnarsson
- LCT-1V Locust - MechWarrior Liesel Van Brundt
- TDR-5S Thunderbolt - Lieutenant Sonja Hinchcliff
- CRD-3R Crusader - MechWarrior Ned Barenborg
- DRG-1N Dragon - MechWarrior Hobart Benson
- WHM-6R Warhammer - MechWarrior Nix Chang
- LCF-R15 Lucifer - Lieutenant Hosni Glover
- LCF-R15 Lucifer - Pilot Darian Brooks-Holder
- CSR-V12 Corsair - Sergeant Chynna N’gomo
- CSR-V12 Corsair - Pilot Lancaster Fredericks
- SL-15 Slayer - Sergeant Avery Karlson
- SL-17 Shilone - Pilot Roma Washington
- PHX-7K Phoenix Hawk - Captain Jeremiah Youngblood II
- AWS-9Q Awesome "Klatt" - Lieutenant Rodney Klatt
- KIM-3C Komodo – Lena Roderick
- CTS-6Y Cestus – Arvid Molsson
- FLC-8R Falconer – Lieutenant Max Pearson (XO)
- WHM-9D Warhammer - Sasha Hind
- VR5-R Verfolger – Micah Donaldson (KIA on Ruchbach)
- AXM-1N Axman – Karen Hecht
They also have three DropShips (likely Leopards) and six aerospace fighters including at least one flight of Stingray fighters. All of the Crescent Hawks were once Kell Hounds and, since the days of the Red Corsair, the Hawks had seen more constant action than their parent unit.
- PHX-7K Phoenix Hawk - Captain Jeremiah Youngblood II
- HSN-7D Hellspawn - MechWarrior Benjamin Nagel
- STY-3C Starslayer - MechWarrior Isold Pleasance
- Mad Cat (Prime) - MechWarrior Chaylynn
- SPR-5F Spector - Lieutenant Flavia Wilson
- TLN-5W Talon - MechWarrior Klytus Spencer
- Cougar (Prime) - MechWarrior Terry Duchamp
- AF1 Arctic Fox - MechWarrior California Jacobs
- AWS-9Q Awesome "Klatt" - Lieutenant Rodney Klatt
- FLC-8R Falconer - MechWarrior Beckett Frakes
- WHM-7S Warhammer - MechWarrior Sasha Hind
- LNX-9Q Lynx - MechWarrior Sayer
- LCF-R16 Lucifer - Lieutenant Darian Brooks-Holder
- LCF-R16KR Lucifer II - Pilot Klaus Meinhardt
- EST-R3 Eisensturm - Sergeant Taylor Burkitts Howard
- CHP-W7 Chippewa - Pilot Alison Foy
- DARO-1 Dagger - Sergeant Mika Dorf
- DARO-1 Dagger - Pilot Delmer “Broken Hoof” Ketchum
- PHX-7K Phoenix Hawk - Captain Jezebel Youngblood
- GTL-10 Gauntlet - MechWarrior “Black” Barton Deckert
- Gyrfalcon - MechWarrior Bailey Lawrence Redgrave III
- Mad Cat III - MechWarrior Isla
- HVC-P6 Havoc - Lieutenant Yasmine Takagi
- GBT-1G Gambit - MechWarrior Romulus Halstead-Kell
- Jaguar - MechWarrior Markus “Sweetbottom” Lorde
- STO-6S Stiletto - MechWarrior Alise Gogol
- SCG-WD1 Scourge - Lieutenant, Polonius Allard
- Vulture Mk IV (Prime) - MechWarrior Duma Graus
- MNL-3L Mangonel - MechWarrior Kress
- VR5-R Verfolger - MechWarrior Cherie Devereaux
- LCR-3 Lucifer III - Lieutenant Thomas “Divebomb” Engelson
- MR-1S Morgenstern - Pilot Piper Scheuder
- CSR-F100 Picaroon - Sergeant Claramond Hertz
- CSR-F100 Picaroon - Pilot Simon Jung
- STM-O Sternensturm - Sergeant Rock Ramirez
- STM-O Sternensturm - Pilot Oda Brodbeck
The Crescent Hawks color their equipment in dark blue and gray with yellow highlights in a similar style to the famous Kell Hounds mercenary unit. They also are noted for painting their 'Mechs in fitting camouflage to reflect the local terrain of their expected environs whenever possible to do so, though they will choose on occasions where intimidation of an opposing force or bolstering of an allied force is a viable option to adopt the unit's parade colors of gray and blue with yellow highlights.
The dress uniform for the Crescent Hawks is a utilitarian Gray with blue epaulets. Rank insignia varies depending on role in the unit, with a single gold bar denoting MechWarrior, a bar with a ruby for a Lance Commander, and an enameled gold hawk's head for the captain. Since its presentation to Jason Youngblood in 3052 after the Battle of Luthien, one warrior is chosen to wear Youngblood's Bushido Blade, usually the most seasoned warrior in the unit who will serve as the unit's conscience. The fighter pilot with the most kills wears the Crimson Eagle - a half-cape of red feathers similar to the ceremonial gear of Clan Jade Falcon. Crimson Hawks pilots keep meticulous track of their kills in order to gain the honor, which often switches owners after a battle.
The first game does not provide dates for its story-line, but conjectural information from the second game indicates that the Kurita attack on Pacifica must have occurred just prior to the Fourth Succession War that was launched on 20. August 3028. The story-line of the sequel game begins in October 3028, and refers to the "recent" Kurita attack on Pacifica for the events from the first game. Jeremiah Youngblood had been captured "six months ago" when he was rescued on Dieron; assuming that he was rescued in April 3029 this indicates that his capture in the initial attack against Pacifica took place in October or possibly September 3028 which in turn means the story-line of the first game was only meant to cover 1 or 2 months. This date can be verified through reading the newspaper in the Mayor's Hut in the original BTI game.
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 113: Crescent Hawks fly again! - Crescent Hawks deployed for locals unknown
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 84
- Eclipse, Ch. 1
- A Crescent Hawk's Scenario: Cornered Prey
- 'Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 3
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 6
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 10
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 11
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p 12
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p 13
- Eclipse, Ch. 3
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 14
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 15
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 16
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 17
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 3: "Force Composition"
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 18
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 19
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 20
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 21
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 108
- Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks, p. 3: "Uniforms and Insignia"