Actually, Senator, You Are All Wet.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., requested that the Navy name the submarine scheduled for delivery in April 2011 for his state. There’s never been a Montana, Tester said. But he is totally wrong!
Actually, Senator, USS Montana (ACR-13) was a 14, 500-ton Armored Cruiser commissioned 21 July 1908. The Montana served her nation during World War I. During that war, Montana conducted training exercises, transported supplies and men, and performed convoy escorts through most of 1917. Montana was a Naval Academy training ship from early 1918. Ordered to France in 1919, Montana made six round trips from Europe, returning 8,800 American troops. Not until 7 June 1920 was Montana renamed USS Missoula and reclassed as CA-13.
The Navy has never ignored the 41st state (1889) in its ship naming. Three (3) cruisers, a gunboat and USS Helena (SSN-725) have all been christened Helena (Montana's capital).
The Navy may certainly be forgiven for not wanting to name a state-of-the-art submarine after a state famed for its mountains. Montana is not a native American name; it is derived from the Latin montaanus, or mountainous.
How many U.S. subs have struck some of over 30,000 known seamounts? We recall one tragic fatality not very long ago. Those still wondering may browse an amateur compilation, however.
Labels: seamounts submarines