Navy Names Next Aircraft Carrier USS John F. Kennedy

Story Number: NNS110529-04Release Date: 5/29/2011 12:43:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
From Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

BOSTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named the USS John F. Kennedy.

The selection John F. Kennedy, designated CVN 79, honors the 35th President of the United States and pays tribute to his service in the Navy, in the government, and to the nation.

"President John F. Kennedy exemplified the meaning of service, not just to country, but service to all humanity," said Mabus. "I am honored to have the opportunity to name the next aircraft carrier after this great Sailor and inspirational leader, and to keep the rich tradition and history of USS John F. Kennedy sailing in the U.S. Fleet."

Born in Brookline, Mass., May 29, 1917, Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940, and entered the Navy in October 1941.

During World War II, Kennedy took command of PT 109 at Tulagi Island in the Solomons, with a mission to intercept Japanese ships attempting to resupply their barges in New Georgia. In the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 1943, Kennedy's ship was inadvertently struck by an enemy ship and split in half. During the course of the next six days, Kennedy led his crew members to safety and an eventual rescue. Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for the rescue of his crew and a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained when his ship was struck.

After his military service, Kennedy became a congressman representing the Boston area, he was elected to the Senate in 1953, and in 1961 became the youngest person to be elected president.

One previous ship, USS John F. Kennedy, CV 67, was named in his honor and was decommissioned in 2007, after nearly 40 years of distinguished service, including Operation Desert Storm.

The USS John F. Kennedy and other Ford-class carriers will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief, and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation. The aircraft carrier and the carrier strike group will provide forward presence, rapid response, endurance on station, and multi-mission capability throughout its 50-year service life.

The USS John F. Kennedy will provide improved warfighting capability, quality of life improvements for Sailors and reduced acquisition and life cycle costs. The ship will be constructed at Newport News Shipbuilding, Va., a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Additional information about aircraft carriers is available on line at

Media may direct queries to Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence at 571-289-7139.

For more news from Secretary of the Navy, visit

6/14/2011 11:57:00 AM
Fine Strong and Pround name. Looking forward to the new JFK. However, how about USS America USS United States or even USS Enterprise?

6/11/2011 8:30:00 PM
Let's name CVN80 America and CVN 81 Independence, I served on them and they where great warriors of their time.

6/6/2011 9:28:00 AM
I wonder if there will ever be a time when we stop naming large ships for politicians? I have no problem with JFK, he was before my time (barely) but can we have some tradition? Enterprise? Hornet? Constellation? America? Independence? Ranger? All those are appropriate names, but look at all the carriers now...all politicians (except Nimitz) what gives? I guess it's to be expected in today's world.

6/3/2011 12:16:00 PM
at reader in New York, yes he did cheat on his wife but that does not lessen his dedication to his country or the Navy. As for it being an insult to every woman serving our country, please do not try to speak for every woman in the country because you ARE NOT every woman serving the country. I AM a woman serving our country and I DO NOT find it an insult. I think that to often politicians private affairs are focused on more than the pressing issues that our country should focused on. Thank you.

6/3/2011 9:20:00 AM
Great ship, great name, great tradition. Young Lt. Kennedy distinguished himself as a young Navy Officer during WW II and is truly deserving of such a great honor. As a plank owner of the original CVA-67 USS John F. Kennedy, I can only agree wholeheartedly on naming a second great ship after such an outstanding young US NAVY Sailor. May a fair breeeze always be a her back.

6/3/2011 8:38:00 AM
CVN-79 is the ship that's supposed to replace the Big E when she's decommed in a few years, right? If so, then why not Enterprise instead of JFK. The name Enterprise has had a long and distinguished association with the US Navy going back to before there was even a US Navy. To have an Enterprise still serving just seems fitting

6/2/2011 4:05:00 PM
I agree that Kennedy should be honored but still think that there should always be a USS Enterprise. Since there has been a vessel named Enterprise since the beginning of this Great Country that we live in. It would be a shame to let that Traditional name fall by the way side.

6/2/2011 9:54:00 AM
Great name, great ship, great tradition. As a former CVA-67 sailor, it gives me great pride to know the Navy still honors great, outstanding Sailors like young Lt. Kennedy. His oustanding leadeship for his PT boat and crew during WW II remains a true inspiration for all freedom-loving patrioting US NAVY sailors. GOdspeed the NEW JFK !!!

6/1/2011 11:11:00 AM
Itís great to see President Kennedyís name continue to be immortalized on a symbol of national power. As a graduate of both John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, NJ and Boston University which is right next to Brookline where he was born, I hope to continue my JFK connection by serving aboard CVN-79 one day!

6/1/2011 10:52:00 AM
No ship or base should ever be named after politicians. Choose a name of some one who paid the supreme price for our freedom. Never a president who was in office during the last 100 years.

6/1/2011 10:33:00 AM
Great choice SECNAV. I wonder will there be a Sailor on active duty who will be able to say they served on both carriers, CV-67 and CVN-79.

5/31/2011 8:54:00 PM
I think it is unfortunate that once again the government is trying to hang on to 'Camelot'. Let it go for goodness sake. President Kennedy was blatantly unfaithful to his wife. This is an insult to every woman serving our country! To say nothing of the betrayal of Cubans fighting for democracy!

5/31/2011 5:14:00 PM
Perfect choice! Carry on the proud tradition of CV-67!

5/31/2011 4:27:00 PM
Thank you for keeping John Kennedy contemporary in our national memory. His selfless service to the United States may have led to loss of his life, yet the legacy of the assassinated president continues to serve as a bold example of courage and fortitude for citizens to emulate despite the continueing threat of very selfish and powerful, corrupt organizations. that put the nation in perile. Long live JFK in spirit. Good luck to the new aircraft carrier and her crew of service men.

5/31/2011 11:33:00 AM
Don't forget President Kennedy's role in increasing funding for two very different programs, Spec Ops (SEALS) and Peace Corps. Naming a CVN after Kennedy is very appropriate since a CVN will be tasked with both attack and humanitarian missions.

Comment submission for this story is now closed.
A photo illustration of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier depicting the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79).
110527-N-DX698-001 WASHINGTON (May 27, 2011) A photo illustration of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier depicting the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jay M. Chu/Released)
May 29, 2011
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click here.