What Are Some Famous U.S. Navy Warships?


Quick Answer

Among the most famous U.S. Navy ships are the USS Constitution, Monitor, Main, Arizona and Missouri. Other prominent names include the Chesapeake, Lawrence, Niagara and Nautilus. The Constitution, in particular, was one of the first six commissioned Navy ships, and performed exceptionally in both the Barbary War and the War of 1812, being later nicknamed "Old Ironsides."

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The USS Monitor was one of the United States' first two ironclads, and defeated its Confederate nemesis, the CSS Virginia, in the three-and-a-half-hour 1862 battle of Hampton Roads. The USS Maine is most famous for being a victim, and sank as the result of a catastrophic explosion in 1898. Regardless of the explosion's cause, the disaster was blamed on the nearby Spanish, and it became a key event in igniting the Spanish-American War.

The USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania Class battleship moored in Pearl Harbor at the time of the infamous Japanese air assault there in December, 1941. Over 1,000 sailors died as a result of the attack, and the site of the ship's sinking is marked by a memorial curated by the National Park Service. The USS Missouri was the last battleship built by the United States, and was the site of Japan's formal surrender at the end of World War Two in September, 1945. The USS Nautilus was the nation's first nuclear-powered submarine and, in 1958, became the first ship to cross the entirety of the North Pole.

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