Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday JFK!

For the second time, the Navy will name an aircraft carrier after president and World War II naval veteran John F. Kennedy, the service announced Sunday, on what would have been Kennedy's 94th birthday.
The carrier, designated CVN 79, will be the second in the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers.
"President John F. Kennedy exemplified the meaning of service, not just to country, but service to all humanity," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement. "I am honored to have the opportunity to name the next aircraft carrier after this great sailor and inspirational leader, and to keep the rich tradition and history of USS John F. Kennedy sailing in the U.S. Fleet."
Kennedy entered the Navy in October 1941. Serving in the Pacific on a ship known as PT 109, he was in command on Aug. 2,1943, when the ship was struck by an enemy vessel and split in half. Kennedy led the crew to to safety over the next six days and later received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and a Purple Heart.
The earlier carrier named after Kennedy, which bore the hull designation CV 67, was decommissioned in 2007 after serving for nearly 40 years. It stayed for several months in Hampton Roads before being towed to Philadelphia. Efforts are under way to preserve it as a museum in Rhode Island.
The new carrier is under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

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