San Diego’s NASSCO to Construct Massive Navy Ship Named After Abolitionist Harriet Tubman
In San Diego, a Navy fuel ship slated for construction is set to be named after Harriet Tubman, the renowned abolitionist who played a pivotal role in helping numerous enslaved individuals escape from the American South via the covert Underground Railroad network during the 1800s.
This naming decision was recently announced by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, in line with the Navy’s tradition of honoring prominent figures from the civil rights movement and social activism by bestowing the names of such individuals upon John Lewis-class fleet oilers.
Harriet Tubman’s recognition as a deserving honor is beyond question. She emerged from incredibly challenging circumstances and committed her life to facing immense danger and adversity, ultimately becoming a symbol of freedom by aiding others in their escape from the shackles of slavery. Not to mention her remarkable role as the first African American woman to serve formally in the military during the Civil War.
The ship that will carry her name is a 742-foot Navy oiler, with construction slated to begin in late 2025 at the General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard on San Diego Bay. This renowned shipyard has already finished, is currently building, or has intentions to build eight additional Lewis-class vessels, each dedicated to honoring prominent figures such as John Lewis, Harvey Milk, Earl Warren, Robert F. Kennedy, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth, Thurgood Marshall, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The launch of the Robert F. Kennedy ship into the bay is expected later this autumn.
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