USA — Navy Names Next Aircraft Carrier USS John F. Kennedy

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.

“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. Over 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 was struck. 

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, the 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 ser­vice life. 

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 avail­able online at . Media may direct queries to Lt. Cmdr. Tama­ra Lawrence at 571–289-7139.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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