Navy Names Next Aircraft Carrier USS John F
Navy Names Next Aircraft Carrier USS
Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs
Boston, Massachusetts --May 29, 2011 -- (NNS)
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next Gerald R. Ford-class
aircraft carrier will be named the USS John F. Kennedy.
The selection John F. Kennedy, designated CVN 79, honors the
35th President of the United States and pays tribute to his service in the Navy,
in the government, and to the nation.
Photo illustration of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft
carrier depicting the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79)
"President John F. Kennedy exemplified the meaning of
service, not just to country, but service to all humanity," said Mabus. "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."
Born in Brookline, Mass., May 29, 1917, Kennedy graduated
from Harvard in 1940, and entered the Navy in October 1941.
During World War II, Kennedy took command of PT 109 at Tulagi
Island in the Solomons, with a mission to intercept Japanese ships attempting to
resupply their barges in New Georgia. In the early morning hours of Aug. 2,
1943, Kennedy's ship was inadvertently struck by an enemy ship and split in half.
During the course of the next six days, Kennedy led his crew members to safety
and an eventual rescue. Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for the
rescue of his crew and a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained when his ship
After his military service, Kennedy became a congressman
representing the Boston area, he was elected to the Senate in 1953, and in 1961
became the youngest person to be elected president.
One previous ship, USS John F. Kennedy, CV 67, was named in
his honor and was decommissioned in 2007, after nearly 40 years of distinguished
service, including Operation Desert Storm.
The USS John F. Kennedy and other Ford-class carriers will be
the premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief, and early
decisive striking power in a major combat operation. The aircraft carrier and
the carrier strike group will provide forward presence, rapid response,
endurance on station, and multi-mission capability throughout its 50-year
The USS John F. Kennedy will provide improved warfighting
capability, quality of life improvements for Sailors and reduced acquisition and
life cycle costs. The ship will be constructed at Newport News Shipbuilding,
Va., a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Additional information about aircraft carriers is
on line. Media may direct queries to Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence at