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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 465-99
October 05, 1999

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ANNOUNCES THE NAME OF NEWLY CHARTERED SEALIFT SHIP FOR U.S. AIR FORCE HERO

Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig has announced that the owners of a commercial ship chartered to the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) will rename a vessel for a U.S. Air Force Medal of Honor recipient.

The ship will be named MV MAJ. BERNARD F. FISHER in honor of Air Force Maj. Bernard F. Fisher. In 1966, Fisher was assigned to the 1st Air Commando Squadron operating from Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam when he rescued a downed airman from a special forces camp that was under attack by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars. While directing his own air cover, Fisher landed his A-1E/H "Spad" aircraft, taxied almost the full length of a debris-littered runway, and despite withering ground fire, rescued the downed pilot and gained enough speed to lift off and fly to safety.

Fisher continued to serve in the Air Force and retired as a colonel in 1974. Fisher and his wife reside in Kuna, Idaho.

MV MAJ. BERNARD F. FISHER is a container ship owned by Sealift Inc., Oyster Bay, N.Y., that has been chartered to the MSC headquartered in Washington, D.C. The ship is operated by a crew of 25 merchant mariners. MSC will use the vessel to carry nearly 1,600 20-foot containers of prepositioned U.S. Air Force cargo. By using two 30-ton gantry cranes onboard, the cargo can be loaded and off-loaded in underdeveloped or battle-damaged ports. MV MAJ. BERNARD F. FISHER is 652 feet in length, with a beam of 105 feet.

A renaming ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 15, at the Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point, N.C.

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