Secretary of the Navy Names Expeditionary Sea Base Ship
Secretary of the Navy Names Expeditionary
Sea Base Ship
From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs.
Washington D.C. – (NNS)
– January 14, 2016 – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the Navy's newest Expeditionary Sea
Base (ESB) ship, T-ESB 4, will be named USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams during a
ceremony in Charleston, West Virginia, Jan. 14.
Hershel "Woody" Williams, the ship's namesake, was born in West Virginia and
joined the Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1944, after serving in Guadalcanal and Guam, he joined the campaign in Iwo
Jima. Two days after arriving on the island, Williams picked up a 70-pound
flamethrower and walked ahead of his infantry's tanks for four hours clearing
their path of enemy machine gun fire. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the
Medal of Honor two years later for his actions.
Williams served during the Battle of Iwo Jima until he was wounded in March
of 1945. He returned to the United States, was awarded a Purple Heart and
released from active duty. Later, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves for 17
Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of
Mobile landing platform
Lewis B. Puller successfully completed launch and float-off
The new 784-foot-long vessel will feature a 52,000 square foot flight deck,
fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines, and mission-planning
Able to accommodate up to 250 personnel, the new ESB ship will support
multiple missions, such as air mine counter measures (AMCM), counter-piracy
operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster-relief
missions, and crisis response operations.
In addition, the vessel will be capable of supporting MH-53 and MH-60
helicopters, with an option for future upgrades to support MV-22 tilt-rotor
USNS Hershel "Woody" Williams will be constructed by General Dynamics
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego. The ship is
expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2018.
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