President Trump Names Navy LCS for World War II Australian Cruiser
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump has chosen to name a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) in honor of a Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Canberra, that fought alongside the U.S. Navy during World War II.
During a Feb. 23 press conference while hosting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House, the two leaders celebrated the friendship and 100-year defense partnership of the two nations. Trump announced that the LCS would be named USS Canberra.
The heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra was defending a beachhead at Guadalcanal on Aug. 9, 1942, when it — along with three U.S. Navy cruisers — was sunk by a Japanese task force during a night engagement, the Battle of Savo Island.
The U.S. Navy subsequently honored the sacrifice of the Canberra by naming a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Canberra (CA 70) that served later in the Pacific theater from 1943 until 1945. The USS Canberra later was modified with surface-to-air missiles in addition to its battery of 8-inch guns and was redesignated CAG 2 in 1952 and back to CA 70 in 1968. The ship was decommissioned in 1970 after service off Vietnam.
“What a great symbol of our shared alliance,” Turnbull said, noting that the Independence-class LCS will be built by Austal USA, a Mobile, Alabama-based unit of the Australian shipbuilder, Austal.