Earlier this week I told you about the USS Billings completing her maiden deployment in the Caribbean. The USS Billings is a littoral combat ship. Following closely on the heels of the USS Billings will be the USS Montana, a Block IV Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarine.

While the USS Montana is yet to get officially underway, pretty soon Bill Whitsitt with the USS Montana Committee will set sail for Great Falls.

Coming up on November 15th in Great Falls, folks will get a chance to see and hear the ship's bell, which is a submarine-sized replica of the original USS Montana bell that was aboard the ship commissioned back in 1908.

The new bell carries the 1908 bell’s inscriptions, but also the powerful emblem of the new warship. In a striking connection with the Navy and our state motto, Oro y Plata (Gold and Silver), the bell has melted into it gold and silver dolphin pins worn by qualified submariners (gold by officers, silver by enlisted sailors). It also has real Montana gold and silver in its brass. Beginning with the USS MONTANA’s commissioning next year, the Oro y Plata bell will be seen and heard in U.S. and foreign ports. And it will be “on scene, unseen” – of course unheard – with the MONTANA in potentially dangerous places in defense of our nation.

The event will take place at the Holiday Inn on 1100 5th Street South. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the reception and presentation. It is sponsored by the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce and the USS Montana Committee.

Cost is $15 per person, with a cash bar. For more information, and directions to the registration link, please call the Chamber at 406.761.4434.


LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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