Mississippi shipbuilder christens its latest amphibious ship named after World War II hero

Published 3:37 am Sunday, June 12, 2022

Ingalls Shipbuilding on Saturday christened its 13th amphibious ship, naming it after Richard M. McCool Jr., a U.S. 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 bravery and heroism in front of a ship that will carry another generation of brave sailors and Marines into missions defending our freedom,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said in a news release.

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

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Under Secretary of the Navy Erik Raven, the keynote speaker at the christening, said McCool embodied the “spirit of service above self.”

“The sailors and Marines who will sail on this future ship carry on that legacy following the example of spirit, patriotism and selflessness set by 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 smashing a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

“To the commanding officer and future crew of this ship, may she (the ship) keep you safe. And in the words of our grandfather, may you always remember to fight as a unit and not as individuals,” Shana McCool said.