Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton has named a strategic
sealift ship after a U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipient from
World War II.
The name Secretary Dalton assigned, USNS Watson (T-AKR 310),
honors U.S. Army Pvt. George Watson of Birmingham, Ala., who was
awarded the nation's highest military award.
While serving with
the 2nd Battalion, 29th Quartermaster Regiment, Pvt. Watson
distinguished himself on March 8, 1943, when his ship was sunk by
Japanese bombers near Porloch Harbor, New Guinea.
remained in the water and helped other soldiers reach their life
Exhausted by these heroic efforts, Pvt. Watson was unable
to get clear of the turbulence when the ship went down.
By naming this ship after an Army Medal of Honor
recipient, the Secretary of the Navy has created a lasting
monument to an American hero. said Secretary of the Army Togo D.
Pvt. Watson gave his life in the defense of our
nation; now this ship will continue that legacy of service.
ship is a fitting reminder of selfless service by an
extraordinary soldier, and of the history of accomplishment and
mutual support shared by our two services.
The new Large Medium Speed Roll On/Roll Off (LMSR) ship is
under construction at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in
San Diego, Calif.
The ship will be operated by the U.S. Navy's
Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C.
roll-off design makes it ideal for transporting helicopters,
tanks, and other wheeled and tracked military vehicles.
will have approximately 390,000 square feet of cargo carrying
Watson is 950 feet in length, has a beam of 105 feet and
displaces approximately 62,000 tons when fully loaded.
turbine powered ship will be able to sustain speeds up to 24