USS West Virginia (SSBN-736), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 35th state. Built by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, her keel was laid down on 24 October 1987. She was launched on 14 October 1989 sponsored by Mrs. Robert C. Byrd, and commissioned on 20 October 1990, with Captain J.R. Harvey in command of the Blue Crew and Captain Donald McDermott in command of the Gold Crew.
The focal point of the emblem is the outline of the 35th state in the Union. The silent mountaineer represents the first West Virginia pioneers who settled these mountainous lands. Instead of a rifle, the pioneer holds King Neptune’s three-pronged spear, the Trident, the nautical symbol of our nation’s third generation (after Polaris and Poseidon) Strategic Submerged Launched Ballistic Missile Program. The motto “Montoni Semper Liberi” was adopted from the State Seal, which emphatically states “Mountaineers are always free”. The two stars represent the two previous namesake ships, the USS WEST VIRGINIA (ACR-5), later renamed USS HUNTlNGTON (ACR-5), and the USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB 48). The colors blue and gold represent the official colors of the state of West Virginia adopted in its centennial year, and are also representative of the Blue and Gold crews.
This coin is minted in a brass alloy and given an antique finish, before embuing with durable enamel. The reverse has an engraving plate suitable for a name and dates of service.
Each coin measures 1.75 inch (44mm) in diameter.
™ Department of the Navy. Officially Licensed by the Department of the Navy.
This is a surplus NWTM item. Packaging may vary.