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Enlighten Me: "USS Delaware" name to sail again after nearly a century

Photo by Chris Oxley/HII via Sen. Carper's office


The name “USS Delaware” will soon appear on the side of a Naval vessel for the first time in nearly a century.  

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) co-wrote a letter with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and US Representative John Carney (D-Delaware) to the secretary of the Navy in 2012 asking him to name a submarine for Delaware.  

Two years later, the secretary of the Navy told Carper the state would get it’s name on a Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine.  

“The idea of having a fast attack nuclear submarine Virginia class the vessel that bears the name of Delaware is almost more than I could have hoped for,” Carper said.

Carper is 23-year Navy veteran who worked with nuclear subs as a flight officer.

Delaware has a long maritime history dating back to the Revolutionary War. During World War II, thousands of women built hundreds of ships on the Wilmington Riverfront.  

Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, sponsored the submarine for the state.

Construction started a few months ago and is expected to be complete by the end of next year.


The last naval vessel to bear the name USS Delaware was decommissioned in 1923.