TCS Tiger's Claw
|TCS Tiger's Claw (CV-07)|
|Type||Bengal-class strike carrier|
|Manufacturer||Trojan IV Shipyards|
|Primary User||Terran Confederation|
|Service||Terran-Kilrathi War - 2644 to 2656, destroyed 2656.|
|TCS Tiger's Claw Target Identification.|
|Work-in-progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|
She was constructed at the Trojan Four Spaceyards and commissioned in 2644. Due to the design modifications to the TCS Kipling and subsequent ships, the Tiger's Claw was the longest and largest Bengal ever built, at 700 meters in length. She was known as "The Pride of the Fleet". The carrier's crew published an on-board magazine, Claw Marks. The Tiger's Claw operated the Scimitar, Hornet, Rapier II and Raptor. 98% of missions flown off the carrier were defend, escort, intercept, patrol or strike missions.
During the Tiger's Claw's maiden voyage, she encountered a Kilrathi invasion force. Although she carried only a skeleton space crew with limited tactical experience she managed to out-think and outfight the superior Kilrathi force. She was subsequently assigned to permanent duty in the Vega sector.
In 2649, the carrier was ordered away from her duty station to cover the retreat from a failed amphibious attack on a fortified Kilrathi colony. The Tiger's Claw placed itself in the path of enemy fighters and saved the troop transports. The fighting, later known as Custer's Carnival severely damaged the carrier. Three quarters of her engines were destroyed and half of her pilots were among the casualties. She spent six months in space-dock undergoing repairs and refits, leaving in early 2650. Two Gold Stars and numerous other medals were awarded to Tiger's Claw crewmen.
In March 2654, the carrier launched a combined strike against the KIS Rathtak. Two of the carrier's Scimitar pilots, Captain R.A. Skinner and Lieutenant Larry Dibbles were killed in a Kilrathi ambush en-route to the target. The Rathtak was ultimately damaged but not destroyed. This incident pushed avoidable casualties on the ship to 5% over the previous year and 9% over the expected optimum level.
In April 2654, the Terran Confederation Service Organization announced that it was sending an entertainment unit to the carrier. The unit included normal and zero-g dancers, singers, comedians and the Confederation's best cyberlink illusionists and was accompanied by vidstar Saranya Carr. Four shows were held on 2654.140. One Tiger's Claw pilot, Captain Jeannette Devereaux, was awarded the Bronze Star that same month. 1st Lt. Mariko Tanaka flew her tenth mission and 2nd Lt. Todd Marshall scored his fifth kill flying off the carrier that month.
Over the next few months, the Tiger's Claw took an active role in various Confederation operations aimed at curbing the Kilrathi invasion of the Vega sector. The most decorated pilot of this campaign, Christopher Blair, enabled the Tiger's Claw and its crew to successfully recapture several Confederation colonies that had fallen under Kilrathi control. During the final weeks of 2654, Blair and fellow pilot Ian St. John destroyed the Kilrathi High Command at the Kilrathi sector capital of Venice, effectively liberating the entire sector from Kilrathi control.
The Tiger's Claw later became the flagship for Operation Thor's Hammer, the retaliatory operation for the Kilrathi attack on the Goddard Colony, which left 250,000 Confederation colonists dead. Throughout early 2655, the Tiger's Claw ventured deep into Kilrathi territory in an effort to hunt down and destroy the Kilrathi fleet that launched the attack. Their efforts paid off when Blair and his wing destroyed the flagship, the KIS Sivar, and the Kilrathi super-weapon that annihilated Goddard. The Tiger's Claw then retreated to Confederation territory before it could be destroyed.
In the following year, the Tiger's Claw and its pilots served as the Honorary Guard for the Confederation delegation that was to finalize a new alliance between the Confederation and the Firekkans, a bird-like race whose home world, Firekka, was located within Confederation space. After the treaty was signed, the Kilrathi invaded the planet and enslaved the local populace in preparation for its sacred Sivar-Eshrad Ceremony, in which the Kilrathi were to pray to their gods for success in the war against the humans. In an effort to demoralize the Kilrathi, the Tiger's Claw and its crew oversaw a marine assault that resulted in the disruption of the ceremony and the retreat of the Kilrathi fleet. These actions in turn saved the Firekkans from destruction and ensured a lasting peace between the two factions.
The Tiger's Claw was later reassigned to the Enigma sector in 2656, where it was to destroy the Kilrathi High Command at K'tithrak Mang. The mission ended in failure when a Human traitor alerted the Kilrathi to the Claw's presence in the system. The Kilrathi then destroyed the Tiger's Claw with a squad of stealth fighters, killing all hands on board. Only those pilots who were on patrol at the time of the attack survived. The loss of the Tiger's Claw meant that the battle for the Enigma sector would continue for another eleven years.
Tiger's Claw pilots and crew included Christopher Blair, Aaron Allston, Kien Chen, Christopher Roberts, Fatima Haroud, Glen Johnson, Ian St. John, James Taggart, Jeannette Devereaux, Jeff George, Joseph Khumalo, Ken Demarest III, Larry Dibbles, Michael Casey, Mike Harrison, R.A. Skinner, S.E. Sarasin, Steve Cantrell, Mariko Tanaka, Todd Marshall, Jacob Manley, and Warren Spector. As of April 2654, Michael Casey held the ship's record for number of kills.
Some controversy arose over the proper name of the ship as numerous sources - including documents written by the carrier’s pilots and crew - referred to the ship as simply the Tiger Claw rather than the possessive Tiger's Claw. This stems from the ship having been laid down as Tiger Claw but commissioned as Tiger’s Claw with the latter being what appeared on her hull.
- Killer Bee Squadron (Light, primarily flew Hornets)
- Star Slayer Squadron (Heavy, primarily flew Raptors)
- Blue Devil Squadron (Medium, primarily flew Scimitars)
- Black Lion Squadron (Medium, primarily flew Rapiers)
The Tiger's Claw has appeared in more Wing Commander products than any other ship. She is the main carrier in Wing Commander and its add-ons, and is seen in the opening Wing Commander II cinematic where she is destroyed by stealth fighters. She also appears in the the animated television series Wing Commander Academy as well as the Wing Commander feature film.
Over the years many fans have contributed their artwork showcasing the Tiger's Claw.