USS John S. McCain Now Honors Three Generations of Naval Officers
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The secretary of the Navy has approved adding the name of Sen. John S. McCain, R-Ariz., to the senator’s father and grandfather as namesakes of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer declared the change in a July 12 notice to the Navy:
“Expanding the name of USS John S. McCain to include Sen. McCain properly honors three generations of dedicated service to our Navy and nation. Adm. John S. McCain (1884-1945), served as a distinguished carrier task force commander of World War II. Adm John S. McCain, Jr. (1911-1981), served as the former commander-in-chief, U.S. Pacific Command. Sen. John S. McCain III continued the legacy of service as a naval aviator during the Vietnam War. As a prisoner of war, McCain represented our nation with dignity and returned with honor.”
McCain survived injury in the July 1967 conflagration on board the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in the Tonkin Gulf. Rather than returning to homeport with his squadron, he volunteered to join another squadron on board USS Oriskany still on the line in the Tonkin Gulf. His A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft was shot down over North Vietnam on Oct. 26, 1967, and McCain was severely injured in the ejection. He was imprisoned by North Vietnam for five and a half years, being subjected to torture and other mistreatment. He was released in 1973.
As a senator, McCain has been a tireless advocate of national defense and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is fighting brain cancer.