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Frederick Billings’ great, great grandson photographs U.S.S. Billings



Billings, Montana – Naval Station Mayport, which is close to Jacksonville, Florida, will be the location of repairs for the littoral combat ship U.S.S. Billings.

According to Billings Mayor Bill Cole, the U.S. Navy has installed a new crew on the ship, which might be prepared for deployment in about two years.

The celebrations included a man who is a direct descendant of the ship’s namesake.

Photographer Larry French had the opportunity to attend and record a ceremony for the USS Billings.

Although being thousands of miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Montana’s largest city has a strong presence at sea.

The ship had a change of command on Thursday after being commissioned in 2019.

“Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.” said French, great, great grandson of Frederick Billings. “Of course, I’m still processing it all the next day of us having been on such a powerful vessel.”

French works as a photographer for Getty Images and is from Maryland.

Although though he had experience working at various sporting events, such as NFL games, this assignment was unheard of.

“The special ingredient for me is the fact that the ship was named after my great, great grandfather Frederick Billings,” said French.

A unique occasion for Cole as well as French.”He just knows a lot of that great family history,” Cole said about French. “So it was great to bring that down here to Jacksonville and share that with the crew.”

Cole was joined in Florida by Ron Spence, the board chair for Friends of the USS Billings.

French was invited to the ceremony by Cole.

Frederick Billings’ significance in Billings is demonstrated by a bronze statue of him outside the Western Heritage Center, which formerly housed the Parmly Billings Library.

Together with Vermont, California, and the US Navy, he also had an impact.

Frederick Billings served as the president of the Northern Pacific Railroad and the attorney general of California for a while.

The family farm in Vermont, according to French, may have made Billings’ greatest contribution.”I think most people in the family would say that his true legacy is really the environmental aspect as reflected in the Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller National Historic Park,” French said.

Cole respects both that tradition and the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the city of Billings.”It’s our mission to build that relationship between the ship and the ship’s crew and the namesake city,” Cole said.

“To be there as a great, great grandson of Frederick Billings was secondary to my purpose there,” French said. But it was also quite special to shake the hands of many crew members and Commander Thomas.”

The Grizzly serves as the crew’s mascot.

Cole acknowledged that the decision to use the Bobcat as the U.S.S. Montana crew’s mascot may upset some Montana fans.

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