The USN Tacoma was an Endeavor-class Cruiser under the command of Captain Stewart Smith at the time of the first engagement in the First War of Continuation. During the Battle of Mars (June 21, 2401) its port engine was hit by a direct plasma bolt, causing the engine to overload and meltdown. The explosive blast sent the ship carreening into the trajectory of another plasma bolt, where it plowed through its central decks unil it was virtually melted into a super-hot piece of titanium armor and durasteel alloy.

On June 26, the family members of the captain and crew were awarded the Purple Heart for "... giving their lives in the protection of freedom and the future of billions of lives, on June 21, 2401."

She was laid down on March 7, 2396, launched on September 26, 2396, and underwent a two-and-a-half month trial period (unlike the standard two-month period, due to a plasma-tungsten cannon overload while test firing) and was finally commissioned into the United States Navy on November 1, 2396. She participated in three battles against the Rebel government, in 2397, 2399 and early 2401. After the confrontation in 2401, the Tacoma had suffered damages from eleven Sidewinder concussion missiles on her starboard side. She had just left the repair yards over Earth when she was sent to Mars on June 18.

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