By lex, on December 18th, 2006
An 1819 act of Congress gives the secretary of the Navy responsibility for choosing ship names, a prerogative he still exercises, according to the Naval Historical Center’s Web site.
Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., amended the 2007 defense bill to encourage the Navy to name the next carrier after Ford, who served in the Navy during World War II and grew up in Michigan…
Warner is the outgoing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Levin is the incoming chairman…
In a letter to Waite last month, Capt. Rebecca Brenton, special assistant for public affairs to the Navy secretary, said it is understandable many people support naming the next carrier America.
“As I am sure you are aware, a sense of Congress, while not legally binding, must be carefully considered as part of the ship-naming process,” Brenton wrote.
Ah, well. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky to have capital warship named after a one-term US president, the only man ever to hold that office who was never elected either to it or to the vice-presidency and whom – helluva nice guy that he is – is chiefly famous for having pardoned Richard Nixon and provided endless stumble-joke fodder for nighttime TV comics. Oh, and the evacuation of Saigon, I guess. And that clinic named after his wife.
But for a quirk of fate (and not having paid taxes on his bribes) it might have been named the USS Spiro Agnew. Happily, we already have a USS Ford **on the books, so here’s to confusion to the enemy!
There is a spirited attempt **by former crewmembers of the USS America to encourage SECNAV to name CVN-78 after their old ship, and here are just a few other historical names going unused:
Lexington and Hornet (two of my favorites), Constellation, Independence, Ranger, Oriskany, Shangri-La, and Coral Sea.
Been over this ground before, and having gotten it out of my system for now, I shall go in search of other windmills to tilt at. Come along, Sancho.
* 07-17-2008 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 07-17-2008 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.