To commemorate America's rich naval and maritime heritage through the preservation and exhibition of historic naval vessels with an emphasis on the era of World War II through the present.
Photographs Related to the Launching and Christening of USS Razorback (SS-394)
This photograph shows USS Razorback, along with her sister ships USS Redfish and USS Ronquil under construction in Drydock #1 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME sometime prior to the launching ceremony.
Construction of USS Razorback was begun on 09 September 1943. She was launched and christened, along with three sister ships (USS Redfish (SS-395), USS Ronquil (SS-396) and USS Scabbardfish (SS-397) on 27 January, 1944.
Launching of a vessel is the physical act of moving the hull from the shipyard into the water. While significant work remains before she is ready for service, launching marks the vessel's transition from a land-bound structure to a floating warship
Official U.S. Navy photograph from the museum's archives.
This photograph shows Razorback's sponsor, Mrs. Hazel Grant Davis, striking Razorback's bow with the traditional bottle of Champagne. This action was accompanied with the traditional words, "In the name of the United States, I christen thee USS Razorback."
The Christening ceremony usually (but not always) takes place at the same time as launching, and is one of the first steps toward giving a vessel her identity. The christening ceremony is part of a tradition that can be traced back for over 4,000 years, to the very dawn of human history. Someone with a relationship to the vessel is nominated as the ceremonial sponsor of the vessel. Women began sponsoring ships in the 1800s, a tradition that continues today (with occasional exceptions). Traditionally, a bottle of spirits is broken across the bow of the ship. Champagne is most often used today, but other liquids, including non-alcoholic beverages, have been substituted.
From the museum's archives. Donated by CTM(SS) Louis "Red" Hansen, Razorback's First COB (Chief of the Boat)
Photo Caption: "Presentation of employee's gift to Mrs. Hazel Grant Davis, by Mr. R.E. Trueman."
US National Archives Photograph 219532
Photo Caption: "Mrs. Hazel Grant Davis, Sponsor (right) and Mrs. Robert W. Ferrell, Matron of Honor"
(US National Archives Photo 219533)
Photo Caption: "Mrs. Hazel Grant Davis, Sponsor"
(US National Archives Photo 219534)