We were honored today with a visit by the executive officer and senior crew of the USS New Mexico–out of the deep, on dry land and in the desert that their nuclear submarine is named for. Among the reasons for the visit was to trade out two dessert plates from the New Mexico History Museum’s luscious 56-piece Tiffany silver service that have ridden on the boat for the last four years.
Made in 1918 by Tiffany & Co. for use aboard the submarine’s predecessor, the fabled USS New Mexico battleship, the set came to the museum in the 1960s after that boat was decommissioned and after seeing brief use aboard the USS Midway and USS Bon Homme Richard. Since 2010, the submarine has had two plates bearing finely etched drawings of New Mexico scenes, the Santa Fe Trail and Taos Pueblo. They’re just two of the reminders that New Mexicans have placed aboard the submarine, including extensive Southwest-style decor courtesy of the volunteer USS New Mexico Committee, Navy League.
“One of the keys (of the Tiffany plates) is having the link between the ship and the home state,” said LCDR Craig Litty (that’s him at the far left in the photo above). “It makes a connection to remind us of what we do all the time. We’re on a warship. It can be tough to remember what we’re working for. It’s one of the key things to keeping us grounded. Between these plates and what the committee sends us, it keeps us very close. This is my third attack submarine, and it has the best relationship with its home state.”