Newest US aircraft carrier to be named Kennedy

May 29, 2011 - 2:14 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says the nation's next aircraft carrier will be named the John F. Kennedy.

Mabus announced the honor Sunday in memory of the 35th president. The nuclear-powered ship will be built at Newport News Shipbuilding 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 ship 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.