The capital city of Alabama.
The fifth U.S. Navy ship named Montgomery. One previous ship was also named for the city. The fourth Montgomery (Cruiser No. 9) served -- with some interruptions -- from 1894–1919.
Three ships have been named for Maj. Gen. Richard Montgomery, born in northern Ireland on 23 December 1739. He fought in the French and Indian War, serving alongside British Maj. Gen. James Wolfe at Québec in 1759, and in the expedition against the Spanish West Indies. Following that conflict, Montgomery campaigned against Native Americans in Pontiac’s War. He returned to America in 1772, purchased an estate on the Hudson River, and married the daughter of Robert R. Livingston. When the War of Independence broke out, Montgomery sided with the Americans and was commissioned a brigadier general in the Continental Army in the fall of 1775. He succeeded Gen. Philip J. Schuyler in command of the expedition against Canada, captured Fort St. John and Fort Chambly, and entered Montréal in triumph. He was promoted to a major general, but British artillery killed Montgomery with grapeshot when he unsuccessfully assaulted Québec on 31 December 1775.
The first Montgomery, a frigate, was built in 1776 but burned to prevent her capture by the British on 6 October 1777. The second Montgomery, a sloop or schooner, served from 1813–1815. The third Montgomery, a wooden screw steamer, served from 1861–1865.
The fifth Montgomery (Destroyer No. 121) was named for Rear Adm. John B. Montgomery (1794–1873), reclassified to DD‑121 on 17 July 1920, to a light minelayer (DM‑17) on 5 January 1931, and served from 1918–1945.
(LCS-8: displacement 3,200; length 421.5'; beam 103.7'; draft 15.1'; speed 40+ knots; complement 40+ augmentees; armament 1 Mk 110 57 millimeter gun, RIM-116 SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) defense system, and 4 .50 caliber machine guns; aircraft 2 Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawks and 1 Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout; class Independence)
The sixth Montgomery (LCS-8) was laid down on 25 June 2013 at Mobile, Ala., by Austal USA; launched on 6 August 2014; sponsored by Mrs. Mary B. Sessions, wife of Senator Jefferson B. Sessions III, of Ala.; delivered on 23 June 2016; completed her final contract trials on 17 March 2017; and was commissioned on 10 September 2016, at Alabama State Docks Pier 2 at Mobile, Cmdr. Daniel G. Straub in command.
The shield is a partial depiction of the flag of the city of Montgomery, Ala. The shape of the shield alludes to armor and symbolizes the protection that Montgomery will provide to the nation’s shores. The white stars represent that she is the eighth littoral combat ship.
The crew has chosen the Viking as a symbol to represent their daring spirit and advanced seafaring skills. Montgomery and the Viking longship both employ an innovative shallow draft design. The longship’s sail is a representation of Alabama’s state flag. The ship is made of light aluminum to allow for swiftness at sea, represented by the gleaming Viking helmet.
The motto, “Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere,” which translates to “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” is the state motto of Alabama and interprets the spirit of Montgomery’s crew.
The sword and cutlass represent surface warfare capabilities and Montgomery’s dedicated crew of officers and sailors.
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
5 February 2018