Ingalls Shipbuilding christens its newest amphibious ship

Ingalls Shipbuilding on Saturday christened its 13th amphibious vessel and named it after Richard M. McCool Jr., a United States Navy captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing survivors of a sinking destroyer during a World War II kamikaze attack.

“Today we reflect on Richard M. McCool Jr.’s courage and heroism for a ship that will carry a new generation of brave sailors and Marines on missions defending our freedom,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson in a press release.

His rescue efforts took place exactly 77 years to the day LPD 29 was christened in his honor, the company said.

Undersecretary of the Navy Erik Raven, the keynote speaker at the christening, said McCool embodied the “spirit of service beyond oneself.”

“The sailors and Marines who will sail on this future ship carry on that legacy modeled on the spirit, patriotism and selflessness of Richard M. McCool Jr.,” Raven said.

The Richard M. McCool Jr. is co-sponsored by Shana McCool and Kate Oja, granddaughters of the ship’s namesake. Together they officially christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine over the bow.

“To the Commanding Officer and future crew of this ship, may she (the ship) protect you. And in our grandfather’s words, may you always remember to fight as a unit and not as individuals,” said Shana McCool.

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