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Maryland’s Naval History

By LT.j.g. Chloe Morgan, Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

Maryland, known as the “Old Line State” to honor the troops of the Maryland line who fought courageously during the Revolutionary War, was one of the original thirteen colonies.

The state has played an important role since the early days of the U.S. Navy. The Constellation, one of the original six frigates, was built at the Sterrett Shipyard, Baltimore, Md.

At least 40 ships have been named after the state of Maryland, its cities, places and people. Four ships bear the state’s name, including the USS Maryland (SSBN 738), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. The submarine’s crest features the arms of the state of Maryland, which are historically derived from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families and displays the submarine’s motto Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam, or “Fear Only God and Dishonor.”

Legendary naval officer Stephen Decatur of Sinepuxent, Md., became the most lauded American naval hero since John Paul Jones for his actions during the Tripolitan War, and Lt. Milton Ernest Ricketts of Baltimore was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle of Coral Sea.

Maryland is home to seven Navy installations. The state can also boast the hometown of heroes and leaders like Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks of Edgewater who was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V and Purple Heart after the helicopter he was in was shot down by enemy fire.

Possibly the most well known Navy tie is the scenic United States Naval Academy campus. Known as the Yard, USNA us located in historic Annapolis, where the Severn River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. With its combination of early 20th-century and modern buildings, the Naval Academy is a blend of tradition and state-of-the-art technology that exemplifies today’s Navy and Marine Corps. Visitors often hear Midshipmen chant “Go Navy, Beat Army!”

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