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Public invited to Saturday's christening of Navy logistics ship Hershel "Woody" Williams

Oct 19, 2017 

Gary Robbins |San Diego Union-Tribune


The public is invited to attend Saturday’s christening of the Hershel “Woody” Williams, a Navy logistics ship that’s being built at General Dynamics-NASSCO’s shipyard on San Diego Bay.

The 784-foot long vessel will be christened during a ceremony that will start at 10 a.m. The gates will open to the public at 9 a.m. Visitors are asked to enter at the Main Gate at Harbor Drive and 28th Street. 

The ship, formally known as an expeditionary sea base, or ESB, is named after Hershel Williams, the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. More than 6,800 U.S. servicemen died during the battle with the Japanese, which came late in World War II. 

NASSCO says that Williams will speak during Saturday’s ceremony, and that the ship will be christened by his two daughters, Travie Ross and Tracie Ross.

The shipyard says that the new vessel “will serve as a flexible platform to support a variety of missions, including air mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions.

“The ship will provide for accommodations for up to 250 personnel, a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, and will also support MH-53 and MH-60 helicopters with an option to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.”

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