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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

SSBN 738 Maryland

The submarine Maryland (SSBN-738) is the fourth commissioned U.S. naval ship to be named in honor of the Old Line State, seventh of the original 13 states of the Union.

The shield features the arms of the state of Maryland, which are historically derived from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Its main color is blue, highlighted with silver. Beneath the shield is a scroll in blue, displaying the motto "Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam," - Fear Only God and Dishonor - inscribed in gold letters. This is all superimposed upon a trident wreathed in laurel decorated with seven battle stars. The trident's bottom spike is flanked by two dolphins.

Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy. The arms of Maryland hail the state's historical roots while the submarine indicates the Ohio Class of the present USS Maryland vessel. The trident represents Naval weaponry and sea prowess. Its bottom spike points to the ocean depths, the area of operations of the USS Maryland. The heraldic dolphins are symbolic of speed, intelligence, and the ability to penetrate the deep. The wreath of laurel is emblematic of excellence and accomplishment; its seven stars commemorate the battle stars earned by the Battleship Maryland (BB 46) in World War II. The state of Maryland was also the seventh state to be admitted to the union.

The coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and is inscribed with the words USS Maryland above and SSBN-738 in gold letters below.

The First Maryland

The first vessel commissioned Maryland was a sloop built in Baltimore and accepted by the Navy in 1799. It cruised to the Surinam station in the British West Indies to protect American shipping against attacks by the French during the Napoleonic Wars. After making several captures, Maryland returned home in August of 1800, escorting to safety a large convoy of American and British merchant vessels. In October, 1801, its crew was discharged and the vessel sold.

CA 8

The second Maryland (CA-8) was an armored cruiser that was commissioned in 1905 and joined the Atlantic Fleet for operations in the Caribbean. A year later, Maryland was transferred to the Pacific Fleet, where it participated in numerous training cruises and survey missions for the next decade.

In November of 1916, the vessel was renamed Frederick to clear the state name for a newly authorized battleship. Once the U.S. had entered the war with Germany in 1917, Frederick returned east and convoyed troop ships until the Armistice was signed in November, 1918. Subsequently, the ship was involved in transporting troops home from France. In the early 1920s, Frederick rejoined the Pacific Fleet, serving for one year as Flagship of the Train before being decommissioned. The vessel was struck from the Naval Register in November, 1929.

BB 46

The Battleship Maryland (BB-46), third ship to bear the name, was commissioned in July of 1921. It featured a new type of seaplane catapult and was the first U.S. ship with mounted 16-inch guns; these distinctions placed Maryland in demand during the early 1920s.

Maryland was in Battleship Row when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. The vessel sustained two bomb hits, but was still able to fire all of its anti-aircraft batteries. Following repairs, Maryland began its wartime service in February of 1942, operating as part of the task force during the Battle of Midway.

Throughout the course of the war, Maryland lived up to its nickname "Fighting Mary" through participation in several key amphibious campaigns including the assaults on Tarawa in November of 1943 and Saipan in June of 1944; the initial landings in the Philippines and the ensuing Battle for Leyte Gulf in October of 1944; and the invasion of Okinawa at the end of March, 1945. Between 1944 and 1945, Maryland twice sustained severe damage from suicide planes but continued to devastate the enemy with powerful 16-inch gunfire.

In April of 1945, the battleship left the combat zone for extensive overhaul, and in August entered the "Magic Carpet" Fleet, transporting more than 9,000 servicemen home to the U.S. Following "Magic Carpet" duty, Maryland was placed in reserve and then decommissioned in 1947. The battleship, which earned seven battle stars for service during World War II, was sold in 1959.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:41:05 ZULU