A ship's name is important. The tradition within the Naval
Service is to name ships in honor of great national or military
leaders, or heroes who sacrificed for the defense of freedom, or
battles fought to secure our liberties. or great American
communities that represent the resiliency, vitality and spirit
On September 7, 2002 in a ceremony aboard the USS Intrepid in
New York City, then Secretary of the Navy Gordon England
announced the decision to name the fifth amphibious transport
dock ship of the San Antonio class, New York (LPD 21).
"The USS New York will ensure that all New Yorkers and the
world will never forget the evil attacks of September 11,
and the courage and compassion New Yorkers showed in response
to terror," said Governor Pataki. "I want to thank
Secretary England for taking this extraordinary step and
agreeing to pay special tribute to all New Yorkers by giving our
name to a ship that will play an important role in the war on
terror," the Governor said. "In addition, I look
forward to the USS New York's first visit to our great City and
State for Fleet Week."
Ship's Crest Symbolism
(Source Northrop Grumman LPD 21 Christening Booklet)
The USS New York is the fifth ship in the LPD-17 San Antonio
class of amphibious transport dock ships, a new class of warship -
designed for missions that include special operations against
- Shield: Dark blue and gold, the colors traditionally associated
with the Navy, represent the sea and excellence.
- The crossed swords represent the US Navy and Marine Corps.
- The red is for sacrifice and valor and the white recalls
purity of purpose.
- The gray chevron and two vertical bars represent the bow of
LPD-21 and The Twin Towers respectively. They are
conjoined to emphasize the use of 24 tons of steel recovered
from the World Trade Center, to construct the 7.5 ton bow stem
of the USS New York.
- The phoenix rising personifies the hope and determination of
this nation to rebuild and regroup to fight terrorism.
- The shield on the phoenix's breast honors the New York City
Fire Department, New York City Police Department and the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey.
- The vertical red stripe is for the Fire Department, the dark
blue stripe is the traditional blue for the Police Department
and the light blue stripe is for the Port Authority Police
- The Celeste is taken from the patch of the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey. It also alludes to costal waters
and the Port of New York.
- The red drops represent blood shed and the ultimate
sacrifice made by the men and women of 9/11.
- The stars commemorate the three battle stars the USS New
York Battleship earned during World War 11.
- The border of the shield is adapted from the New York State
- The sunburst represents the crown of the Statue of Liberty.
- They represent the seven seas and continents of the world
and also suggest a direct connection to the littoral missions
of the USS New York anywhere in the world, past and present.
- The mountains and lakes surrounded by the maple leaves
represent the natural beauty of the State of New York.
Steel salvaged from the World Trade Center wreckage has been
used in the construction of New York. The shipyard and
Navy inspected the steel and found that it was of sufficient
material strength so that it could be incorporated into the bow
stem of New York.
When it was poured into the molds on September 9, 2003,
"those big rough steelworkers treated it with total
reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was
there. & nbps; "It was a spiritual moment for everybody
there." Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager,
said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched
it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood
up.' "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he
said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us
down. We're going to be back."
LPD 21 New York is under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems, Avondale Operations, greater New Orleans area,
LA. NGSS' Avondale Operations, which is located on the
banks of the Mississippi River is approximately 12 miles upriver
from downtown New Orleans.
On August 4, 2005, the LPD 21's bow stem, with its World Trade
Center steel, was erected into the main hull and will forever
lead the future USS New York. The keel was laid for
New York on September 10, 2004 and the complete bow was erected
into place in March 2006.
The ship's sponsor is Mrs. Dotty England, the wife of Deputy
Secretary of Defense Gordon England "christened thee
New York" in a ceremony in early 2008.
Commissioning is the ceremony in which New York will become a
unit of the operating forces of the United States Navy. It
is the occasion when the ship will "Come Alive" and New York
becomes USS New York. USS New York's commissioning
ceremony will occur in mid to late 2009 in New York City.
The USS New York, and her sister ships, the USS Arlington and
USS Somerset, will be living tributes to every hero who died at
the World Trade Centers, at the Pentagon and on United Flight
93, which crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. These
three ships , these Champions of Freedom, stand for "life,
liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it" and will ensure
that we NEVER FORGET September 11, 2001. They will take
the fight to all who threaten peace and freedom. The most
important message America can send to the world is our
commitment to freedom and liberty for our citizens and for all
people. USS New York will carry 360 Sailors and 3 Marines, who will
form the New York's crew along with and 700 combat-ready Marines
to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft. The
Prospective Commanding Officer will be CDR Curt Jones. The
ship's motto ... NEVER FORGET.
• Commissioning •