By Holly Quick, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division
With a Naval Supply Depot that supported World War II, a ship named for the state, two ships named for the capital and three ships named for its cities, Navy history is a significant part of Utah’s history.
Utah’s Naval Supply Depot
Clearfield, Utah was home to the largest Naval Supply Depot in the world by the end of World War II. Commissioned April 10, 1943, Naval Supply Depot Clearfield was established to expand the Navy’s logistical support network in aid of the war efforts. Logistical support included receipt and storage of incoming stores, packing and shipping of outgoing stores, transportation of incoming and outgoing material, and inventory management.
Utah’s Navy Ship History
The only ship of the U.S. Navy named after the state, USS Utah (BB 31/AG 16) was commissioned August 31, 1911, as a battleship and re-designated July 1, 1931, as target ship “AG 16.” Utah was hit by torpedoes in the first few minutes of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After serious flooding, she rolled over and sank, taking the lives of 64 Sailors with her. If visiting Hawaii, you can visit the ship’s memorial near the ship. The wreck itself remains in the harbor.
Named for the state’s capital, USS Salt Lake City (CL 25/CA 25) was commissioned December 11, 1929, as a light cruiser and reclassified July 1, 1931, as heavy cruiser “CA 25.” In World War II, she assisted in the downing of two Japanese bombers after coming under air attack in the eastern Marshalls.
The second ship named for Utah’s capital, USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) was commissioned May 12, 1984, as a Los Angeles-class submarine. She completed a “first-of-its-kind” mission during her final underway by surfacing through the polar ice pack in the Arctic Ocean in 2005.