USS Tennessee is the first submarine and the sixth U.S. Naval ship to bear the name.
Tennessee was authorized in FY1980; laid down by Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Co., Groton, CT 9 June 1986; launched 13 December 1986; sponsored by Mrs. Landess Kelso; and commissioned 17 December 1988 with Capt D. Witzenburg (Blue); Capt Kenneth D. Barker (Gold) in command.
Tennessee was the first of the Trident II missile submarines to be commissioned. The Trident II is a longer ranged variant of the original Trident missile.
The First Tennessee
The first TENNESSEE was a captured Confederate side wheeler commissioned in 1862, then renamed USS MOBILE two years later.
The Second Tennessee
The second, a case-mated ironclad ram, commissioned in the Confederate Navy in 1864, was captured and commissioned in the U.S. Navy later that year. She finished the Civil War as a federal ship, then was sold for scrap in 1867.
The Third Tennessee
The third was a steam frigate originally commissioned as MADAWASKA In 1867. Her name was changed to TENNESSEE two years later.
The Fourth Tennessee
The fourth TENNESSEE was Armored Cruiser No. 10, commissioned in 1906 and renamed MEMPHIS in 1916 to clear the name for the Battleship BB 43.
The 624-foot Battleship TENNESSEE and her sister ship, CALIFORNIA, were the first American battleships built to a "post-Jutland" hull design. As a result of extensive experimentation and testing, their underwater hull protection was much greater than that of previous battleships.
Commissioned in 1920, BB 43 served continuously until 1947, particularly distinguishing herself during World War ll. She suffered bomb damage during the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but was repaired and back in action a short time later.
The battleship went on to participate in a number of major Pacific operations and earned a Navy Unit Commendation and 10 battle stars for her World War ll action.