Ingalls Shipbuilding christens new ship named after WWII veteran hero

Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Saturday morning, folks gathered for a special christening ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding to celebrate years of hard work on the LPD 29.

However, it’s also a celebration for the heroic capabilities from U.S. Navy Captain Richard M. McCool Jr.

On this very day 77 years ago during WWII, the Medal of Honor recipient showed selflessness by saving captured sailors while he was severely burned from plane attacks in Okinawa.

McCool was only 23 at the time, but Lt. General David Bellon of United States Marine Corps Reserve said his courage earns the right for the ship to be named after him.

“He will inspire future generations. First, they have to fight. Then, they have to endure exceptional hardship and demonstrate selflessness throughout and lead. That’s exactly what he did as a young man,” said Bellon.

Claps thundered under the tent from folks young and old as a thank you for McCool’s bravery and shipbuilders four years of hard work.

Project manager of the ship’s design team, Tim Lister, said he’s amazed by how hard crews have come.

“It’s astonishing. You just have to take one step at the time. Some days it may feel like we’ll never get there but we have an amazing team out here. We work well together,” said Lister.

Officials said this type of ship makes number thirteen that Ingalls Shipbuilding provided for the Navy.

“This is a day we celebrate, and this is a day we will take this resource the American people gave us, and we will move forward on the planet to safeguard our way of life,” said Bellon.

This month marks 22 years that Ingalls have been building this kind of ship for the Navy.

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