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Christening Scheduled for Expeditionary Navy Ship Hershel “Woody” Williams

Oct 16, 2017 

Toni McAllister | Times of San Diego

The second expeditionary sea base to be built at General Dynamics NASSCO will be christened in San Diego on Saturday, and its 94-year-old namesake is scheduled to be on hand, the shipbuilder announced Monday.

The USNS Hershel “Woody” Williams is named after the last surviving Medal of Honor winner from the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

Williams is scheduled to speak and his daughters, Travie Ross and Tracie Ross, will christen the 784-foot-long ship at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Major Gen. Eric Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division, and Vice Admiral Dixon Smith, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics, are also schedule to make remarks. 

According to NASSCO, the Williams will support mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security and humanitarian missions. 

The ship will also provide for accommodations for up to 250 personnel; offer a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage; and will support helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft.

Delivery to the Navy is scheduled for early next year, according to NASSCO. The shipbuilder constructed and delivered the first ESB, named for Marine Gen. Lewis B. Puller, two years ago.