The Naval History of Montana

By Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

What the state of Montana lacks in active naval bases, it more than makes up for in U.S. Navy ships. At least 30 ships have been named after the state of Montana, its cities, places and people. The name ‘Montana’ was even used for a class of battleships succeeding the Iowa-class.

One of the many notable ships named after the state of Montana is USS Helena (SSN 725). The fourth ship to be named after the capital city in Montana, USS Helena is a nuclear powered submarine that was commissioned in 1987 in New London, CT.

In addition to the long list of ships named after the state, Montana is also home to many Sailors and people connected to the Navy. Admiral Jay Lynn Johnson was born in 1946 in Great Falls, MT. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968 and, upon completion of flight training, was designated a naval aviator in 1969. Johnson commanded Carrier Air Wing One and led its squadrons in a 1986 strike on Libya. In July 1994 he took command of the U.S. Second Fleet. Admiral Johnson retired as the 26th Chief of Naval Operations on July 21, 2000.

Learn more about Montana’s ties to Naval History below!