MOBILE, Alabama (AP) – The Navy will name an Alabama-made ship on Saturday, naming it after Australia’s capital.
The littoral combat ship will be the second ship named USS Canberra, according to a Navy press release sent on Friday.
Australian Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos will deliver the keynote address and his wife, Elizabeth Anne Sinodinos, will smash a bottle of sparkling wine up front.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne is the ship’s godmother but cannot attend, the navy said.
The Austal USA shipyard in Mobile is building one of two variations of what was designed as a fast and affordable vessel to operate in shallow coastal waters, also known as nearshore waters. Lockheed Martin is building the other in Marinette, Wisconsin.
The first USS Canberra, built in 1941, was the Navy’s first cruiser named after a foreign capital. Its original name was the USS Pittsburgh. It was renamed Canberra on October 15, 1942, in honor of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, which sank during the Battle of Savo Island.
The USS Canberra was awarded seven Battle Stars during WWII, and in 1958 was the ceremonial flagship for the selection of the Unknown Soldier of WWII and Korea.
After decommissioning in 1970, one of its propellers was donated to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. In 2001, his bell was donated to the Australian National Maritime Museum.
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