The US Navy is renaming two of its vessels as part of ongoing efforts to cut ties with Confederate history.
The former USNS Maury, an oceanographic survey ship, has been re-named in honor of Marie Tharp, an oceanographer who first mapped the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
It was previously named after former Navy Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury — the founder of modern oceanography who was nicknamed the “Pathfinder of the Seas.”
Maury refused to fight against his home state of Virginia and resigned during the Civil War to join the Confederate Army.
The Navy also renamed a warship formerly known as USS Chancellorsville to the USS Robert Smalls, honoring an enslaved sailor for the Confederates during the Civil War who later went on to serve South Carolina as a US congressman.
It was originally named after The Battle of Chancellorsville on April 30-May 6, 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory during the Civil War.
“The renaming of these assets is not about rewriting history, but to remove the focus on the parts of our history that don’t align with the tenets of this country,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a statement.
The new titles were given by a naming commission created by Congress in response to outcry nationwide over existing Confederate memorials following the 2020 slaying of George Floyd.