List of U.S. military vessels named after living Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Former president George H. W. Bush views a model of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the aircraft carrier named after him.

The naming of United States Navy vessels after living people was common in early decades of American history, but by World War II, the Navy had firmly established a practice of naming ships for people only after they had died.[1] In 1969, a Navy panel decreed that warships would no longer be named after living persons.[1] That lasted until 1974, when President Richard Nixon announced the naming of an aircraft carrier after United States Representative Carl Vinson.[1] Since then, ships such as the Arleigh Burke, Bob Hope, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Gabrielle Giffords have been named for people still alive at the 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[edit]

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


  • John Adams had two ships named after him, he died on July 4, 1826.


James Madison







Jimmy Carter and a model of the SSN-23





See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Olson, Wyatt (19 June 2015). "From Hope to Giffords: The Navy's long history of unconventional ship names". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  2. ^ "PCU John Warner (SSN 785)". Commander, Naval Submarine Forces. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  3. ^ Freking, Kevin (10 February 2012). "Navy names ship for former congresswoman Giffords". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  4. ^ "SECNAV Names Attack Boat After WWII USS Barb, DDG for Former SECNAV Lehman". USNI News. 2020-10-13. Retrieved 2020-10-14.