SSN 778 New Hampshire
On August 6, 2004, the Secretary of the Navy announced that the Virginia class SSN-778 submarine would be named in honor of the State of New Hampshire.
Two other U.S. Navy ships had been named USS New Hampshire. The first was in service from 1846-1921, including service during the Civil War. Later, she was renamed Granite State following decommissioning and was then used as a training ship for the New York State Militia. The second USS New Hampshire (1908-1921) was a battleship that escorted convoys during World War I and also served as a training ship. A third ship, of the Montana Battleship Class, BB-70 was also named New Hampshire. Construction of that ship was however cancelled on 21 July 1943 before her keel was laid. The name was awarded to the submarine after a letter writing campaign by third graders from Garrison Elementary School in Dover to their members of Congress, the state governor, and the Secretary of the Navy.
Construction began in January 2004 by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton, Ct. Her keel was laid in North Kingstown, RI on April 30, 2007. The ship's sponsor was Cheryl McGuiness of Portsmouth, N.H., widow of Thomas McGuiness, co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks as the jet was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. After describing herself as a "symbolic shadow of the tragedy that struck our nation seven years ago," Mrs. McGuiness noted, "There were many heroes who died that day, and many since, and so I ask, "What does a hero look like today?" She beamed as she looked out over the assembeled officers and crews of the USS New Hampshire - 132 in all - as they stood at attention on a sun-drenched platform over the black hull of the ship that will be their home and workplace in the years to come. "I believe I am looking at not one, but many heroes, she smiled. "You all are my heroes."
The submarine was launched on February 21, 2008 and christened four months later, on June 21, 2008 in Groton, Ct, eight months ahead of schedule and $54 million under budget. USS New Hampshire finished initial sea trials and was delivered to the Navy August 28, 2008. She was commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine on October 25, 2008.
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