State’s past to be aboard submarine

-A A +A

Mementos of the first USS New Mexico will be carried

By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — The USS New Mexico submarine being commissioned Saturday will carry mementos of the first USS New Mexico, a battleship that served during World War II.

When the battleship went into service in 1917, the state Senate commissioned a 56-piece sterling silver set by Tiffany & Co.

The set was returned to the state in 1964 and went into the collections vaults of the Palace of the Governors and New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.

The set includes dessert plates, each engraved with a different scene from New Mexico history.

Now the museum is loaning two of the plates to the USS New Mexico submarine, the U.S. Navy’s newest Virginia-class nuclear submarine. The

submarine will be commissioned at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

One of the dessert plates on loan depicts Taos Pueblo and the other shows a stagecoach heading down the Santa Fe Trail into Santa Fe Plaza.

The World War II section of the History Museum’s exhibition, “Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now,” displays other pieces of the Tiffany service. The set includes a humidor in the shape of Taos Pueblo.

Tourism Secretary Michael Cerletti said the second naming of a warship after New Mexico is an honor and a salute to the battleship New Mexico and her legacy in U.S. Naval history.

The battleship, modernized in the 1930s, saw extensive service in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II.

It was one of 189 U.S. ships in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, for the unconditional surrender of Japan.

The battleship was decommissioned in 1946.