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United States ship naming conventions

United States ship naming conventions for the U.S. Navy were established by Congressional action at least as early as 1862. Title Thirteen, Chapter Six, of the United States Code, enacted in that year, reads, in part,

The vessels of the Navy shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy under direction of the President according to the following rule: Sailing-vessels of the first class shall be named after the States of the Union, those of the second class after the rivers, those of the third class after the principal cities and towns and those of the fourth class as the President may direct.

— Section 1531

Further clarification was made by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907.[1] However, elements had existed since before his time. If a ship is reclassified, for example a destroyer is converted to a mine layer, it retains its original name.


Traditional conventionsEdit

Contemporary ship naming conventions and their exceptionsEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ship Naming in the United States Navy". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  2. ^ And the possible exception of USS Shangri-La (CV-38), which however can be said to have been named after a "battle," the Doolittle Raid
  3. ^ Technically the Essex-class carriers Franklin, Randolph and Hancock were named for the Continental Navy ships which bore the names of those men, not the men themselves.
  4. ^ Long Beach was the last US warship built on a true cruiser hull
  5. ^ "About ARCO". Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Now Hear This – The Right Destroyer at the Right Time". U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Navy History and Heritage Command: Ship Naming". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  8. ^ Congressional Research Service (12 June 2013). "Navy Ship Names". United States Naval Institute. Retrieved 7 November 2013.

External linksEdit