Navy News 14/00 (March 30, 2000)

NNS1403. Newest amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima (LHD 7)

By OASD (public affairs)
    WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy christened its newest
amphibious assault ship, Iwo Jima (LHD 7), March 25, at
Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
    Iwo Jima became the second amphibious warship named to
honor the enduring legacy of the heroic participants who
fought and dedicated their lives to the United States in the
February 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima. The first ship named for
the battle, Iwo Jima (LPH 2), was the lead ship of the LPH
class of amphibious assault ships. It was built in the early
1960s as the first "keel-up" amphibious assault ship and was
decommissioned in January 1993.
    James Bradley, son of Petty Officer Second Class John H.
Bradley, delivered the ceremony's principal address. The
senior Bradley earned the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for
extraordinary heroism on Iwo Jima, and was the longest
living survivor among the six men shown in the Pulitzer
Prize-winning Associated Press photo of a large American
flag being raised over Mount Suribachi. This photo image has
come to symbolize an epic struggle during which over 6,000
U.S. Marines lost their lives in taking the island from the
Japanese, whose losses were estimated at 20,000. Hundreds of
veterans from the actual battle, as well as former
crewmembers of Iwo Jima (LPH 2) attended the ceremony.
    Zandra Krulak, wife of retired former Commandant of the
Marine Corps Gen. Charles C. Krulak, served as ship's
sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Krulak broke a
bottle of champagne across the bow to formally name the
    Navy Capt. John T. Nawrocki, a native of Ambridge, Pa.,
and a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the
prospective commanding officer of Iwo Jima. Built by Litton
Ingalls Shipbuilding, the ship is 844 feet in length with a
106-foot beam. The ship has living areas for nearly 3,200
crewmembers and embarked troops, including accommodations
for nearly 450 female officers, chiefs, and enlisted
personnel. Two steam propulsion plants, developing a
combined 70,000 horsepower, will drive the 40,500-ton ship
to speeds in excess of 20 knots.