NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced yesterday that the nation’s next aircraft carrier will be named the John F. Kennedy, in memory of the 35th president.
The nuclear-powered ship will be built at the Newport News shipyard in Virginia.
Mabus said the naming of the next Gerald R. Ford-class carrier in Kennedy’s honor pays tribute to the late president’s service in the Navy. As commander of PT-109, Kennedy led his crew to safety after his patrol-torpedo boat was struck and split in half by an enemy ship in the Pacific.
Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for the rescue of his crew and a Purple Heart.
This will be the second aircraft carrier named after Kennedy. The USS John F. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007 after nearly 40 years of service, including in the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war.
Efforts are underway to bring the carrier to Newport, R.I., and turn it into a museum.
“President John F. Kennedy exemplified the meaning of service, not just to country, but service to all humanity,’’ Mabus said in his announcement.