submarine Robert E. Lee

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!


1st Lieutenant
Aug 4, 2011
I thought all USN submarines were named for fish.
Strictly speaking, marine creatures, including Dolphin, Narwhal, etc. The "boomers" were the first to break the pattern, I suppose for PR reasons; they were also referred to as the "41 for Freedom". Fast attacks continued to be named for marine animals except for a few dead Congressmen (probably a good joke there) until Rickover changed to cities in the Los Angeles class because "fish don't vote".

Since we no longer had battleships, they used state names for the Ohios and then the Virginias. Our last six DLGN/CGNs also had state names, but we stopped building those too.

Probably the most convoluted class is the Seawolf, three boats comprising Seawolf, Connecticut, and Jimmy Carter. I suspect JC was chosen (by a Republican Congress) so they could avoid naming a carrier for him. The Seawolf is SSN-21 (21st century, get it??) so the sequence goes:

Los Angeles class ending with SSN-773
SSN-774...... Virginia class
Last edited:


Sergeant Major
Mar 6, 2010
Charlotte, NC
I was at Ft. Hood attending the NCO Academy there back in the 1980's. I hated the fort, not the person it was named after, because 55,000 men assigned there were in the middle of a "dry county."

A military man does not think of the historical figure his post, base, or station is named after. He's more concerned if his 1st Sergeant is a d**k, his Company Commander is a fool, or his Division General is a hard a** that calls for Field Training Exercises (FTXs) over the holidays or weekends.

At Ft. Bliss, TX, I had all three and couldn't wait to get assigned overseas again. I find it so amusing that some here have to get upset over a fort's name when the name is the furthest thing from the soldier's mind who is stationed there. I am absolutely sure it is the exact same thing for a sailor on a ship or an airman on a base.

Ya' all have fun playing.

Whether a ship's crew takes pride in the historical background for the ship's name is almost totally a matter of whether the CO has pride in it. I was on a couple of dozen ships long enough to know if the crew was proud of their heritage -- most made no connection, but a few did.

My first ship was an oiler, USS Taluga, which had fought in WW2 and "shot" down a kamikaze with her forward superstructure. She had been a real workhorse through Korea and Viet Nam. The crew had pride in her past and their accomplishments. On the following ships, many knew what the ship was named for, but there was no connection to it (New Orleans, John R. Craig, Hainsworth, Okinawa, Dubuque, Blue Ridge, Denver, Peoria, etc.).

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!