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SSBN 740 Rhode Island

The submarine RHODE ISLAND (SSBN 740) is the third U.S. Naval ship to be named in honor of the 13th state of the Union.

The dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the U.S. Navy and symbolize the sea and excellence. The Red is emblematic of valor and action. The anchor and circle of thirteen stars are adapted from the Rhode Island state flag highlighting the maritime heritage of the state for which the submarine is named.

The two sections of the shield allude to the two previous USS RHODE ISLANDs. Dark blue, the Union color during the Civil War, honors the first USS RHODE ISLAND; white refers to the second ship of that name, which was part of the "Great White Fleet" in 1907. The crossed swords symbolize strength, cooperation and teamwork.

The trident symbolizes Naval weaponry, both past and present, and sea prowess. Its bottom spike points to the ocean depth, USS RHODE ISLAND's area of operation. The compass rose highlights the four major directions and represents navigation and worldwide capabilities. The lightning flashes underscore quick response and electronic capabilities while their circular configuration alludes to the globe and the scope of the U.S. Navy's mission.

The First Rhode Island

The first RHODE ISLAND, a wooden sidewheel steamer, was commissioned in 1861. Serving during the Civil War as a supply ship, RHODE ISLAND carried out essential support duties for well over 200 vessels during 1861-1862, providing mail, paymasters, officers' stores, medicine and other items. Subsequently assigned to the Gulf Blockading Squadron, RHODE ISLAND succeeded during 1862-1863 in forcing ashore a British schooner and two blockage runners.

Following overhaul in March of 1864, RHODE ISLAND was decommissioned, altered, and then recommissioned that October as an auxiliary cruiser. It joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron to patrol the coasts controlled by the Confederacy. After the Civil War, RHODE ISLAND sailed the Atlantic and West Indies before being decommissioned and sold in October, 1867.

BB 17

The second RHODE ISLAND (BB-17), a battleship launched in 1904, was commissioned in February of 1906. Initially assigned to Division 2, Squadron 1 of the Atlantic Fleet, participated in gunnery practice and other tactical exercises in Cuba. In December of 1907, joined the famed "Great White Fleet" of battleships (16 in all), which sailed to the West Coast and then on a round-the-globe tour. En route to California, the battleship stopped in Trinidad, British West Indies, Rio de Janeiro and Magdalena Bay.

RHODE ISLAND departed San Francisco in July of 1908, sailed with the Fleet to Hawaii, Australia and the Philippines. The battleship continued on to Japan and later, Gibraltar, whereupon it returned to the United States, arriving in Hampton Roads in February of 1909.

From 1909 until the middle of 1916, RHODE ISLAND remained with the Atlantic Fleet, alternately assigned to Divisions 3 and 4. Briefly placed in the Reserve Force, was returned to full commission in March of 1917 after the U.S. had entered World War I. Breaking the flag of the Commander, Battleship Division 3 of the Atlantic Fleet,

RHODE ISLAND was assigned to antisubmarine patrol duty. Following the end of the war in November of 1918, the battleship was assigned to transport duty, making five round-trip voyages to France in the next six months and transporting home a total of more than 5,000 troops. In July of 1919, the vessel was designated flagship of Battleship Squadron 1 of the Pacific Fleet and left Boston Navy Yard for Mare Island. RHODE ISLAND was decommissioned in June of 1920.

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