List of U.S. military vessels named after living Americans
The United States Navy has a long tradition that no vessel be named for a living person, and an equally long tradition, stretching back to the Continental Navy, of breaking it from time to time. The U.S. Navy generally announces the name of a ship some time before it is launched, and well before it is accepted for purchase and commissioned into active service.
List of ships
The following ships received their names while their namesakes were alive. The list includes several ships whose namesakes died before the ships were commissioned.
- George Washington had several vessels named after him before he died in 1799, including at least four in the 1770s and one in 1798. (See also USS Washington).
- USS Washington (1775) was a schooner named Endeavor acquired by Gen. Washington in October 1775, renamed Washington, and re-rigged as a brigantine.
- USS Washington (1776 row galley) was a row galley that operated in Narragansett Bay during the winter and spring of 1776.
- USS Washington (1776 frigate) was one of 13 frigates authorized by the Continental Congress. She was launched in August 1776.
- USS Washington (1776 lateen-rigged galley), a lateen-rigged two-masted galley, was built in the autumn of 1776.
- USS George Washington (1798) was commissioned in 1798.
- John Hancock's name was given to two vessels before he died in October 1793. (See also USS Hancock.)
- USS Franklin (1775) was a 6-gun schooner, fitted out in 1775; Benjamin Franklin died in 1790. (See also USS Franklin)
- USS Lady Washington (1776) was commissioned in 1776; Martha Washington died in 1802.
- USS Deane (1778) was commissioned in 1778; Silas Deane died in 1789.
- John Adams had two ships named after him, he died on July 4, 1826.
- USS Jefferson (1814) was launched in 1814; Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826.
- James Madison had three vessels named for him before he died on June 28, 1836.
- USS Van Buren (1839) was commissioned in 1839; Martin Van Buren died in July 1862. (See also USS Van Buren)
- USS Harriet Lane, commissioned by the US Revenue Cutter Service in 1857, transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1861, named for Harriet Lane, niece and surrogate First Lady of bachelor President James Buchanan. Lane died in 1903.
- USS Holland (SS-1) was commissioned in 1900; John Philip Holland, pioneer of submarine design, died August 1914.
- USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156) was laid down in July 1918, launched in December, and commissioned the following June. Joshua Frederick Cockey Talbott, 25-year member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, died October 1918.
- USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) was laid down in January 1961, and Retired Admiral Richmond K. Turner died in February. The ship was launched in 1963 and commissioned in 1964.
- USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was named in 1980; Carl Vinson, former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, died in 1981, before the ship was commissioned.
- USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709) was named in 1983; Retired Admiral Hyman Rickover, known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", died in 1986.
- USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) was named in 1989; Retired Admiral Arleigh Burke, former 3-term Chief of Naval Operations, died in 1996. Burke spoke at the ship's commissioning on July 4, 1991.
- USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) was named in 1993; John Stennis, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, died in 1995, before the ship was commissioned.
- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was named in 1995; former President Ronald Reagan died in June 2004, eleven months after the ship was commissioned in July 2003.
- USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR-300) was named in 1997; Bob Hope, veteran of USO shows spanning 50 years, died in 2003.
- USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) was named in 1998 for former President and Navy submariner, Jimmy Carter.
- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) was named in 2002 for former President and naval aviator George H. W. Bush.
- USS Nitze (DDG-94) was named in April 2004; Paul Nitze, former Secretary of the Navy, died in October 2004, before the ship was commissioned.
- USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was named in October 2006; Gerald R. Ford, former President and carrier officer, died in December 2006, before the ship was commissioned.
- USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) was named on November 27, 2006, for retired Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, acclaimed as the father of the Aegis combat system. Meyer died in September 2009 a few weeks before the ship was commissioned.
- USS John Warner (SSN-785) was named on January 8, 2009, five days after John Warner, former Navy petty officer, former Marine Corps officer, former Secretary of the Navy, and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, retired from the U.S. Senate.
- USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was named on February 10, 2012, for Gabrielle Giffords, former member of the House of Representatives from Arizona who survived an assassination attempt in 2011. 
- USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) was named on May 7, 2012, for Thomas Hudner, retired Naval officer and recipient of the Medal of Honor.
- USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) was named on May 23, 2012, for Paul Robert Ignatius, former Secretary of the Navy.
- List of United States Navy ships
- List of current ships of the United States Navy
- List of U.S. Navy losses in World War II
- List of U.S. military vessels named after women
- List of U.S. military vessels named after Presidents