In the mid-2250s, the Farragut was commanded by Captain Garrovick. The ship was also Lieutenant James T. Kirk's first deep space assignment, following his graduation from Starfleet Academy, where he was assigned to a phaser station.
In 2257, the Farragut suffered heavy casualties while on deep-space assignment at Tycho IV. While exploring the planet, a dikironium cloud creature was discovered, and would subsequently be responsible for the deaths of two hundred Farragut crewmen, including Captain Garrovick.
Nearly ten hours of record tapes, including reports filed by the ship's executive officer, as well as the young Lieutenant Kirk, chronicled the encounter. According to the tapes, Kirk insisted upon blaming himself because of his delay in firing at the creature. The XO disagreed, stating for the record: "Lieutenant Kirk is a fine young officer who performed with uncommon bravery."
Eleven years later, it was determined that Kirk could not have prevented the death of his captain, when the USS Enterprise encountered the same creature and discovered that phasers were ineffective against it. (TOS: "Obsession")
|Starships named Farragut|
|USS Farragut (23rd century) • USS Farragut (NCC-60597) • USS Farragut (Excelsior-class)|
|Alternate reality: USS Farragut|
Although no official registry or class was established during the TOS-era when this ship was mentioned, both the Star Trek Concordance and the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 262), using the information created by Greg Jein in his The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship article, identified this ship as a Constitution-class heavy cruiser with the registry number NCC-1647. Doug Drexler confirmed this on his blog, Drexfiles.
Many other publications, beginning with The Making of Star Trek, p. 165 and Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual, listed Farragut as a Constitution-class heavy cruiser with the registry NCC-1702. (The Technical Manual also listed the vessel as being destroyed, as does The Making of Star Trek, although there was no canon evidence supporting that assertion.)
The Farragut was "named for American naval officer David Farragut, who commanded Union ships during the American Civil War, famous for his rallying cry, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"" (Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 262))
In the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 262), there was a starboard profile of the Farragut.
Two DC comic books in the second volume provided non-canon appearances of the Farragut in "Behind Enemy Lines!" and "All Those Years Ago...". Further appearances in DC issues included "The Ashes of Eden" showing a model of the Constitution-class Farragut with the NCC-1647 registry, while the comic "Debt of Honor" showed the ship with the registry NCC-1702 (matching the Star Fleet Technical Manual). The ship appeared in the Gold Key TOS issue "Murder Boards the Enterprise".
In the novel The Ashes of Eden by William Shatner, Kirk participated in an early holodeck recreation of his first encounter with the creature, that confirms that he could have done nothing; if the Farragut had fired on the creature, the entire ship would have been destroyed. The ship also made appearances in a number of other novels including Web of the Romulans, The Rings of Tautee, Crisis on Centaurus, The Covenant of the Crown, and Treaty's Law.
In the novel The Captains' Honor, the USS Farragut had been decommissioned from Starfleet and was operated by the Romans of the planet Magna Roma as the USS Centurion. However "Debt of Honor" shows Farragut separating her saucer section and the engineering hull being destroyed by self-destruct after it was overrun by the inter-dimensional creatures in the aftermath of the encounter with the Cloud Creature.