Crest For USS Nantucket Unveiled At Whaling Museum

Written By: Jason Graziadei | Photography By: Brian Sager

The official crest of the USS Nantucket, a new Navy warship that bears the island’s name, was unveiled Monday during a ceremony at the Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum.

The ship’s prospective commanding officer, Kari Yakubisin, along with ship sponsor and island resident Polly Spencer, were among those who shared remarks and celebrated the revealing of the crest.

“Today is the start of a journey to build the identity of the ship, to build the relationship of the crew with this city, and establish further relationships toward its commissioning,” Yakubisin said. “The crest unites the crew, driving morale and esprit de corps. In the case of Nantucket, a city with a rich naval history of her own, the history and landmarks of the island create the unifying symbol for the crew.”

The crest features several nods to island history, including a whale’s fluke, the Sankaty Head Lighthouse, and a harpoon in place of one of the two crossed swords that adorn many Navy vessels. The Latin inscription “Domine Griaeo Maris” translates to “Old Gray Lady of the Sea” Yakubisin said. The three stars represent the USS Nantucket and the two previous U.S. Navy ships that were named for the island.

“We couldn’t be any prouder to have this ship named after this very, very special place,” said Spencer, the ship sponsor who is the wife of former Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer.

The Great Harbor Yacht Club has been selected as the ship’s island sponsor organization, and the club held a private ceremony following the public event at the Whaling Museum. USS Nantucket Commissioning Committee member Bob Monahan said the yacht club will help foster the relationship between the ship and the island community, and there will be opportunities for the USS Nantucket’s crew to interact with island students, Nantucket Cottage Hospital personnel, and others.

“The club’s mission is to act as a facilitating conduit between the island government, organizations and individuals, with an anticipated commissioning in Boston in late spring or early summer of 2023,” Monahan said.

Port visits to island waters will be planned for that time to allow island residents to tour the ship. Due to its deep draft, however, the USS Nantucket will have to be anchored well outside the harbor and it’s currently unclear how close of an approach the ship will be able to make to the island.

According to the Department of Defense, the littoral combat ships are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

Check out some eye-popping videos of the christening ceremony as the ship was moved from land into the water on our Instagram page.

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