The US Navy christened its newest amphibious transport dock, the future USS Richard M. McCool Jr., during a ceremony on Saturday, June 11.
Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the ship honours US Navy veteran and Medal of Honor recipient retired Captain Richard Miles McCool, Jr. The late Captain McCool was awarded the Medal of Honor for the heroism he displayed June 10 and 11, 1945, in coordinating damage control and rescue operations after a series of Japanese kamikaze aircraft attacks during the Battle of Okinawa in the final months of World War II.
After his ship was struck by a kamikaze on June 11, 1945, then Lieutenant McCool, despite suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, led damage control efforts to save his ship from destruction and personally rescue sailors trapped in blazing compartments.
The future Richard M. McCool, Jr. is the 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, designed to support embarking, transporting, and bringing elements of 650 US Marines ashore by landing craft or air-cushion vehicles. A flight deck hangar will be capable of supporting MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
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