By Peter Jasinski.
For the first time in over 50 years, the name Massachusetts will be given to an active Navy vessel.
The most recent iteration of the USS Massachusetts, the South Dakota-class battleship docked at Fall River’s Battleship Cove, has represented the Bay State on the high seas since it was commissioned in 1942. The ship was decommissioned in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the recent construction of a Navy submarine that it came time for the moniker to be handed down to a new vessel.
“It’s tremendous,” Dinis Pimentel, chairman of the USS Massachusetts Commissioning Committee, said of the ship name being passed on. “The battleship was in service from 1942 to 1946 and then was decommissioned. Technically, it was no longer the USS Massachusetts as far back as the 60s. We haven’t had a ship in service named Massachusetts since then.”
Because Fall River’s USS Massachusetts, lovingly called “Big Mamie” by its crew, is decommissioned, it won’t have to be renamed.
According to Battleship Cove Director of Collections Elizabeth York, the new USS Massachusetts is a Virginia-class submarine being built in Newport News, Virginia. The ship is expected to be completed as early as 2022.
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