There’s been a mini uproar here and there about plans to name an aircraft carrier after Senator Carl Levin.
Now, I can’t say I care THAT much about the name of the new ship. And while I can’t think of anything special Carl Levin has done to merit that honor, but then I’m not sure he’s notably LESS worthy than Carl Vinson or John Stennis, so I’ll let that slide.
But is there anyone who’d be a better choice? if so, who?
I’ll go ahead and suggest a Navy hero who, as far as I know, has no ships named after him.:
John “Doc” Bradley, the Navy corpsman who patched up wounded Marines on Iwo Jima, and who helped raise the flag in the iconic photo.
The USS Doc Bradley works for me. Who do you like?
We could always recycle non-person names that haven’t been used in awhile. Serapis comes to mind, immediately. Shangri-La, too, if one’s feeling whimsical.
Back to people, and naval notables specifically, Robert Smalls comes to mind. Although I also have a soft spot for Robert Heinlein—he’s already missed a chance to have a Destroyer named after him, too.
Aviation pioneer Hugh Robinson, the inventor of the tailhook system without which we wouldn’t have aircraft carriers. He is also reported to have made the first air-sea rescue when he landed his seaplane on Lake Michigan to save downed pilot Rene Simon.
Part of the problem is that the “traditional” Navy ship naming scheme sort of collapsed sometime since WWII, and that there was never a really good naming scheme for aircraft carriers in the first place.
Vaguely speaking, they were named after famous battles (Lexington, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Coral Sea, Midway), famous historical predecessors (Wasp, Constellation, Hornet, Enterprise, Independence, Kitty Hawk) and famous politicians and admirals (Nimitz, Eisenhower, Forrestal, Kennedy).
With the exception of the Enterprise (CVN-65), the nuclear carriers have mostly been named after presidents, so I have a feeling that they’ll probably name one after Bill Clinton before the Ford class carriers are done (every other president before Clinton back to Herbert Hoover is a ship namesake already, save Nixon, and all of them are either in service or planned (JFK)).
That said, I’ve always felt that the supercarriers should have been named after states, and the SSBNs should have been named after the politicians and admirals, instead of the other way around.
Don’t be silly. McBoatface was a commander, not a captain.
Land-based military heroes get bases named after them. Of course, there are far more ships than bases, but then we have more land battles than naval ones.
John McCain doesn’t have a ship named for him, but there is a destroyer named for his father and grandfather. I assume it would be awkward to have two USS John McCains simultaneously. Maybe we can name one USS Maverick.
I’d pick “Swede” Momsen, who directed the rescue of sailors from the sunken submarine Squalus in 1939 and developed or helped invent a diving bell and rescue lung device that helped save numerous lives.
He already has a destroyer named after him, but I think it would be even better irony to name a carrier after a man who devoted much of his life to making it possible to sink carriers.
And it would be nice to have a Momsen postage stamp.