A total of three ships of the United States Navy
have borne the name USS Arizona
. The first two ships predate both the territory and state of Arizona
, but within the region of northern Mexico
known as la Pimería Alta
("the Upper Pima Country") was a district called variously "Arizonac," "Arissona," or "Arizona." La Pimería Alta
was divided into the Mexican state of Sonora
and the American territory-cum
-state of Arizona
. The battleship Arizona (BB-39)
, third to bear the name, was named explicitly in honor of the 48th state.
The first Arizona was an iron-hulled side-wheel steamer that served in the American Civil War.
The second USS Arizona was a 3850-ton steam frigate launched in October 1865 as USS Neshamny. She was renamed twice, carrying the name Arizona for less than three months during 1869 before becoming Nevada. Under that last name she was laid up incomplete until she was scrapped in 1874.
On March 4, 1913, Congress authorized the construction of the USS Arizona (BB-39), a Pennsylvania-class battleship.
One of the US Air Force's fleet of B-2 Spirit bombers is named Spirit of Arizona.