Virginia Attack Boat SSN-808 to be Named for Former Navy Secretary John Dalton

March 1, 2023 5:32 PM - Updated: March 1, 2023 8:52 PM
Virginia-class submarine with the Virginia Payload Module

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro will name the future Virginia-class nuclear attack boat SSN-808 after a former Navy secretary, the sea service announced Tuesday.

The submarine will be named in honor of John Dalton, who served as the 70th Navy secretary from 1993 to 1998.

Dalton, a 1964 graduate of the Naval Academy, served aboard submarines USS Blueback (SS-581) and USS John C. Calhoun (SSBN-630) during his time in the Navy, according to a sea service release.

Former Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton

In the release, Del Toro said he named the submarine after Dalton due to the former secretary’s service as a submariner and his role in helping to integrate female sailors onto combat ships. Del Toro announced the name while attending the submarine officer selectee dinner at the Naval Academy. Dalton

“The changes he drove almost thirty years ago are evident in all corners of our Navy today, with women serving on, above, and below the sea,” Del Toro said in the release. “A ship bearing his name brings strength to the crew who will undoubtedly operate it with the courage and dignity of John H. Dalton.”

SSN-808 will be the sixth Block V Virginia that will be outfitted with the Virginia Payload Module that will field a combination of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and long-range hypersonic strike missiles. The first Virginia with a VPM, Arizona (SSN-803), is under construction at General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Quonset Point, R.I., facility.

Virginia-class submarines were initially named for states. Following Arizona, the last four attack boats were after former Navy attack submarines.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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