I was doing a bit of data cleanup today, and found some moderately interesting items. I was looking at the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, and correcting the way we represented some ship names – specifically those that were used multiple times by the US Navy. In looking over the information we have about US Naval vessel names, I found that there were about 1451 names that were used at least twice; 470 used at least three times; 182 used at least four times; 83 used at least five times; and 30 used at least six times.
Boston, Shark, and all those that follow have each been used seven times; Enterprise, Hornet, Morris, Niagara, and Washington each top out at eight uses. Wasp has been used nine times, and Ranger has been used ten times.
These numbers don’t include ships that already entered with numbers in their name, such as Lexington II; Lexington II entered the Navy with that name and kept it, while each of the five various naval vessels named Lexington all kept the same name, Lexington.
These numbers are most likely pretty close to accurate, though if you spot an anomaly among them, please let me (and other readers) know. I analyzed the names of the vessels listed in DANFS to come up with the numbers, so it’s limited to the vessels included in the current DANFS online at the navy.mil site.