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Maryland (SSBN-738) IV


Maryland was admitted to the Union as the seventh state on 28 April 1788.

The fourth ship named for Maryland. The first Maryland, a sloop, served from 1799-1801. The second Maryland (Armored Cruiser No. 8) served from 1905-1929. The third Maryland (Battleship No. 46), was reclassified to BB-46 on 17 July 1920 and served from 1921-1959.


(SSBN-738: displacement 18,700; length 560'; beam 42'; draft 38'; speed 20+ knots; complement 153; armament 24 UGM-133 Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and four torpedo tubes for Mk 48 torpedoes; class Ohio)

The fourth Maryland (SSBN-738) was laid down on 22 April 1986 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.; launched on 10 August 1991; sponsored by Mrs. Sarah C. Larson, wife of Adm. Charles R. Larson, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Command; and commissioned on 13 June 1992, Capt. John W. Francis (Blue Crew) and Capt. Harold E. Marshall (Gold Crew) in command.

Maryland (SSBN-738) IV 1992-Seal


The shield features the arms of the state of Maryland, which are historically derived from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Its main color is blue, highlighted by silver. Beneath the shield is a scroll in blue, displaying the motto: Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam, "Fear Only God and Dishonor," inscribed in gold letters. This is all superimposed upon a trident wreathed in laurel decorated with seven battle stars. The trident’s bottom spike is flanked by two dolphins.


Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the Navy. The arms of Maryland hail the state’s historical roots, while the submarine indicates the Ohio class of Maryland (SSBN-738). The trident represents naval weaponry and sea prowess. Its bottom spike points to the ocean depths, Maryland’s area of operations. The heraldic dolphins are symbolic of speed, intelligence, and the ability to penetrate the deep. The wreath of laurel is emblematic of excellence and accomplishment; its seven stars commemorating the seven battle stars that Maryland (BB-46) received for her service during World War II. The state of Maryland was also the seventh state to be admitted to the union.


The coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and is inscribed with the words USS Maryland above and SSBN-738 in gold letters below.

Maryland, manned by her Blue Crew, shifted home ports from Groton to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. (15-20 June 1992). The submarine, manned by her Blue Crew, launched her first test Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missile during her demonstration and shakedown operations off Port Canaveral, Fla., on 29 July 1992. Maryland participated in an exercise as part of the SSBN Continuity of Operations Program (SCOOP), to demonstrate the Navy’s ability to replenish fleet ballistic missile submarines at sea by using helicopters, on 22 December. She moored outside the St. Mary’s entrance buoy to Kings Bay while a helo replenished her.

The submarine, manned by her Blue Crew, carried out Strategic Deterrent Patrol No. 2 (20 September-28 November 1993). Maryland reached her patrol areas but a crewman suffered a kidney stone, compelling her to come about and medically evacuate the man in the Port Canaveral basin. Heavy shoaling impacted the channel, however, and as Maryland returned toward the patrol areas she ran aground on 24 September 1993. The submarine moored at Kings Bay the following day and sailors inspected the damage, which proved to be minimal. Maryland resumed her patrol on 26 September. The Maryland Eastern Shore Navy League adopted Maryland on 26 October 1994.

Chief Electronics Technician LeRoy W. Young died of a heart attack while on board Maryland near Bermuda, on 5 May 2002. Dr. Angela Marini arrived via a small boat transfer and pronounced him dead, and his shipmates transferred him ashore via a small boat the following day. The submarine held Young’s funeral while berthed at Kings Bay on 12 May.

Maryland participated in the sinking exercise of amphibious assault ship ex-Guam (LPH-9) with the John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Carrier Battle Group off the U.S. east coast on 16 October 2001. Aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 7, embarked in John F. Kennedy, employed a variety of missiles and multiple bombs in their part of the evolution. Maryland fired a single Mk 48 torpedo that delivered the coup de grace to Guam.

Maryland (SSBN-738) IV 1992-Undersea Warfare-1
A midshipman peers through the submarine’s periscope as Lt. (j.g.) Matt Banks of the ship’s company looks on, 6 June 2005. (Missile Technician 2nd Class Andrew Lawing, Undersea Warfare, Fall 2005, Vol. 7 No. 5)
Maryland (SSBN-738) IV 1992-Undersea Warfare-2
Midshipmen and sailors of the ship’s company enjoy a swim call, 7 June 2005. (Missile Technician 2nd Class Andrew Lawing, Undersea Warfare, Fall 2005, Vol. 7 No. 5)
Maryland (SSBN-738) IV 1992-110204-N-FG395-007
Maryland returns to Kings Bay, Ga., 4 February 2011. (Kevin J. Tosh, Jr., U.S. Navy Photograph 110204-N-FG395-007, Commander Submarine Group 7 website)
Maryland (SSBN-738) IV 1992-120801-N-FG395-015
Returning from a strategic deterrent patrol, Maryland transits the St. Marys River on 1 August 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Kimber, U.S. Navy Photograph 120801-N-FG395-015, Navy NewsStand)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

30 June 2014

Published: Thu Aug 06 09:02:39 EDT 2015