Naval Station Newport will rename two streets in its military housing communities next month as part of actions directed by the Navy to replace names of Confederate States Navy officers from existing government-owned properties and facilities. The direction also sought to recognize the contributions and achievements of women and people of color when renaming these assets.
Maffitt Street in the Coddington Cove housing community in Middletown and Warley Street in the Melville housing community in Portsmouth will be renamed as part of these actions,” noted Bruce Katz, installation public affairs officer. “The new street names, which were selected by the Navy and announced last month, will take effect on Dec. 28, 2023.”
Maffitt Street, which bears the name of Commander John Newland Maffitt, will be renamed Bundy Street, honoring Commander William F. Bundy, the first African-American to rise from enlisted sailor to submarine commander in the U.S. Navy. After his retirement from active duty, Bundy, a Bristol, RI resident, was a professor and assistant provost at the Naval War College and had also led the Rhode Island Department of Transportation from 1994-1996.
Warley Street, which bears the name of Lieutenant Alexander F. Warley, will be renamed Der. Vartanian Street, honoring Master Chief Petty Officer Anna Der-Vartanian, the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to the grade of E-9 in 1959 while serving as an assistant to the Global Strategy Officer at the Naval War College.
“Naval Station Newport has coordinated the updating of several systems and agencies ahead of the changes being made to these streets names,” shared Cornelia Mueller, community planning liaison officer at the installation. “From GPS mapping systems to emergency 9-1-1 networks and from the U.S. Postal Service to local municipalities’ records, we have coordinated a timely and smooth transition for all impacted residences.”
According to Katz, the Navy requires the renaming to be carried out by Dec. 29, 2023 and the street changes will result in new mailing addresses for more than 70 military households in the two local military housing communities. While the street names will change, he noted the house numbers of the impacted units will not change.
“The installation team has taken great care to ensure the transition to the new street names and addresses does not have any negative impact on the families and residents of these two neighborhoods of our military housing communities during the upcoming holiday season,” added Katz. “Our goal is to ensure we meet the intent of the directives while minimizing the disruption of services and any unintended consequences to our military families residing in the homes affected by the name changes.”
Katz added all impacted residents should begin notifying their service providers and others who routinely send USPS-delivered mail of the pending address change. USPS will begin automatically forwarding the mail sent to residents at the former addresses for a period of up to six months beginning Dec. 28, 2023.
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