Home » News & Analysis » Amphib John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Christening Tomorrow in Pascagoula


Amphib John P. Murtha (LPD-26) Christening Tomorrow in Pascagoula

Amphibious warship John P. Murtha takes to the water on Oct. 30, 2014. HII Photo

Amphibious warship John P. Murtha launches on Oct. 30, 2014. HII Photo

The Navy will christen the amphibious transport dock John P. Murtha (LPD-26) tomorrow at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.

The tenth ship in the class is named after Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), who served 37 years in the Marine Corps and 36 years in Congress. As a Marine, he served in Vietnam, earned the Bronze Star with Combat “V” and two Purple Hearts, and retired as a colonel in 1990. As a congressman, he chaired the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that provides funding to the military services.

“Both in uniform and in the halls of Congress, Chairman Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the Marine Corps and Congress. His unwavering support of our Sailors and Marines, and in particular of our wounded warriors, was well known and deeply appreciated,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in April 2010 when he announced the ship would be named after Murtha, who died a month and a half earlier.

Murtha’s daughter, Donna Murtha, serves as the ship sponsor and will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the christening ceremony. Huntington Ingalls Industries CEO Mike Petters and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias will speak at the ceremony, and House Minority Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be the featured speaker at the event.

Murtha launched from the shipyard on Oct. 30, 2014. The ship is scheduled to deliver to the Navy in 2016.

The next ship in the class, Portland (LPD-27), is set to launch next year. Portland would have been the last ship in the class, but Congress over the past few years pushed for the Navy to build a 12th LPD. Lawmakers authorized incremental funding and over three fiscal years put money towards the LPD, which has dropped in cost from more than $2 billion to about $1.7 billion.

  • Johnny Clay

    I’d be embarrassed to serve on a ship named after this man. Even though he was a Marine, he was very anti-military during his career in the House. He was on the Marine Museum board of directors when he was alive, and I sent a letter to them saying I would no longer donate money to them as long as Murtha was on their board, citing his anti-troop rhetoric.

    • Secundius

      @ Johnny Clay.

      Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, made a Major Bone-Headed Blunder at Leyte Gulf. That nearly Annihilated Taffy 3 at the Battle Off Samar Island in WW2. And STILL got a Ship named after him. Politics Talks, Merit Walks…

      • Ctrot

        You’re really comparing Murtha to Halsey??

        • Secundius

          @ Ctrot.

          Murtha, is not even in the same league as Halsey. Halsey, is the King @#$% of @#$%’s. Even MacArthur doesn’t compare to Halsey. A 4-star Admiral, looking for 5th-Star and the Medal Honor. Leave a Token Force to defend a bunch of Marine, to go off on a Wild Goose Chase, looking for the Imperial Japanese Fleet. With another Imperial Japanese Fleet at his Back-Door, with a Small Force of Jeep Carriers and a Hand Full Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts. To Screen the Marines with Imperial Japanese Super Battleship in the area. Goes Radio-Silent, taking several Open-Air Radar Call’s from Nimitz, King, and Roosevelt wonder where he is and What-the-Hell-Is-He-UP-Too-Messages. To get back, and Focused on Fighting the War. After the war all the Marines and Surviving members of Taffy 1, 2 and 3 Refused too Shake His Hand, in his presence, If I was Roosevelt, I would Busted him down to (AB) Able Seaman for that BONE-HEADED STUNT.

          • Ctrot

            Psssttt… Halsey left nothing to defend “a bunch of Marine” because it was the US ARMY that landed on Leyte, not the Marine Corps.

          • Secundius

            @ Ctrot.

            Regardless, His orders were to Defend the Invasion Force, NOT go after the Japanese…

          • Marcd30319

            No, Secundius, the Third Fleet was to provide distant support to the invasion force.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Halsey took off north chasing after the Japanese carriers in the middle of the night, leaving behind a fleet of U.S. ships in Leyte Gulf with only a handful of escort carriers for air support.
        .
        He had to do it, because our carrier planes had shorter ranges than the Japanese carrier planes. So we had to “sneak up on them” in order to attack head-to-head. Sort of like Smoking Joe Frasier, had to get on the inside of Ali’s long reach in order to become effective.
        .
        Also, with Japanese airstrips in the area, they could have extended their carrier plane ranges by commuting back and forth between their carriers and airstrips, pausing to attack the U.S. fleet in between with each passing commute.
        .
        Halsey did the right thing, and Chester Nimitz forgave him for doing it.

        • Secundius

          @ publius_maximus_III.

          What Nimitz did with Halsey, is the same thing Eisenhower, did with Patton. It was a Political Move. Shooting your 4-Star’s doesn’t look good to the General American Public in Wartime…

        • Secundius

          @ publius_maximum_III

          With Due Respect, Halsey DID NOT have the right to go on a Wild Goose Chase. Look for the Imperal Japanese Northern Fleet. His orders were to stay of Samar Island and protect the Marines and the Support Ship’s stationed there.

          The fact of several Dozen’s of Non-Coded, In-the-Clear Radio transmission to locate him, prove that mute point. You only make In-the-Clear Radio Transmissions like that out of Desperation. Halsey, went DARK (Radio Silent), so he couldn’t be found…

          • publius_maximus_III

            And with good reason. Had those northward-bound Japanese fleet carriers “found” Halsey’s fleet carriers first, while the Japanese planes were in range to attack, but Halsey’s planes were not, his goose would have been cooked. So he risked it all to try and get within range overnight for a dawn attack, before the Japenese could send out daylight search planes. But the CINCPAC was finally successful in reaching him and recalling his carriers southward, back to Leyte Gulf, though not in time to help very much.

          • Secundius

            @ publius_maximus_III.

            It’s a Sign of Desperation, when the Marine Corps. have to train their M59(M2) 6.1-inch 155mm/45-caliber “Long Tom’s” Howitzers out to sea too protect the Token Fleet from Curtain Annihilation, Anchored there too protect the Marines…

          • Ctrot

            No Marines landed on Leyte.

          • Marcd30319

            Actually, Secundius, Halsey was told by Nimitz that if a fleet action presented itself that he, Halsey, could go after the Japanese carriers. Read Clark Reynolds’ Fast Carriers.

            This was as much a fault of the command system that devided the Pacific war between McArthur and Nimitz, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were as culpable about setting that up as Nimitz giving Halsey a mission outside the his covering mission to MacArthur and Kinkaid’s forces.

            There is plenty of balmes to go around as Vigo Milan noted in his excellent The Battle for Leyte, 1944: Allied and Japanese Plans, Preparations, and Execution.

            The point is what is your point, Secundius? What does Halsey have to do with whu LPD26 should never have been named after John Murtha? That is the issue.

    • Marcd30319

      Comparing Murtha to Halsey is a really load of nonsense.

      Halsey was fighting a WAR.

      Murtha took a kickback during the Abscam investigation, and the only reason Murtha did not serve any prison time was he went to the then-Speaker and cried like a baby.

      Murtha was a notorious pork spender even by the low standards of the U.S. House of Representatives. An airport named after Murtha in his district is so seldom used that you can count the number of weekly flights with one hand.

      But what really gets my blood boiling was how he threw his fellow marines under the bus over the Haditha case even before the Pentagon had completed its investigation.

      If I was SecNav for just one day, renaming LPD-26 would be my first act.

      Enough said.

      • Secundius

        @ Marcd30319.

        As I recall we were Fighting a WAR in Iraq, too. Or did they change that to a Police Action, and I just missed getting the Memo…

        • Marcd30319

          Non-sequitur, Secundius, which is what happens when you introduce relativism and equivalency when comparing pples to oranges.

          Nor does your response address the other comments that I made, such Murtha’s corruption, Absca and pork-barrell spending, in addition to the injustice of what he did by inserting himself into the Haditha case before the Marine Corps had completed its own investigation.

          At worst, Halsey remains a hero albeit one too proud, dare I say too bull-headed, to change with the times or unwilling to ask for help, even when he had experts like Marc Mitscher.

          On the other hand, Murha was a petty politician, a corrupt public servant, and a rank opportunist.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            First of all, I wasn’t comparing Murtha with Halsey. The Lead Commentator of the Comment, pointed of that Murtha should have a ship named after him. In which I agree’d. He/or she commented about other’s that don’t qualify for Naval Ship Naming’s, which I also agree’d. Then I said that Halsey should also be in that group of Ship’s NOT to be Named After. Be cause of Wild Goose Chasing of Imperial Japanese Northern Fleet, which got Taffy 3 and the Sama Troop Landings Destroyed, surely qualifies. So does Admiral John Sidney “Slew” McCain refusal of orders by Admiral Ray Spruance (same Location) and near subsequent Court Martial, also qualifies…

          • Marcd30319

            More non-sequiturs, Secundius, since the U.S. Navy has named two warships after Halsey, a Leahy-clas DLG and a Burke-class DDG.

            As far as Murtha is concerned, his selection for LPD-26 is the most rank of political payback by the current administration. Murtha does not desere such an honor.

            In his The Battle for Leyte, 1944: Allied and Japanese Plans, Preparations, and Execution, Milan Vego pretty much blamed everyone, including the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff, for the problems experienced during the Leyte campaign.

            Finally, Halsey DID turn things around at Guadalcanal, a cruicial turning point, and that alone make him one of the great naval leaders of World War Two.

            And John Murtha? Abcam, pork-barrel politics, and Hadith.

            Enough said.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            But not after getting Taffy 1, 2 and 3 nearly EVISCERATED in the ordeal…

          • Marcd30319

            Granted, but Guadalcanal was important to the war effort and final victory, too.

            Again, the Navy did name two warships after Halsey.

            Also, using relativism and equivalency, you could smear Mark Clark for Italy, Lord Mountabatten for Dieppe, Omar Bradley for the Battle of the Bulge, Field Marshal Montgomery for Market-Garden, Bomber Harris for Dresden, Curtis LeMay for Horoshima, etc., etc., etc.

            What is the point, and more to the point is what is your point?

            You introduced this red herring of Halsey and Leyte Guf into this discussion which has nothing to do with why LPD-26 should or should not be named for John Murtha.
            Yes, John Murtha served his country, but it is also true that Congressman Murtha was corrupt and political to the point that he caused great harm to the Haditha investigation and the Marine Corps he served in.
            This shows yhat Murtha does not warrant consideration for the naming of a doghouse after this man, yet alone an American warship.
            And nothing I have read here alters that fact, and that you so studiously and assidiously ignore this fact by your Halsey distraction only reinforces this.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            General Mark Clark was a Bigot, he did his own thing, he almost NEVER took sound advice form anyone, INCLUDING his Personal Staff. I know, because my Father was in his Staff. I know the Man General Omar Bradley was, was NOT the man portrayed in the movie PATTON. General Patton, was an Anti-Semite, he HATED Jews, he thought the Jew’s that were in the Concentration Camps, deserved to be there. General Montgomery, was a Pompous-ASS, a McClellanist, never did anything unless he had overwhelming firepower and even then, he still required prodding and threats to do anything, and an EGO on par with MacArthur. “Bomber Harris”, was just plan NUTS. Curtis LeMay, followed his orders to the letter, And Louis Mountbattan (or, Battenburg), I really can’t say anything negative about, because requires Negative knowledge of him and I don’t know of any. As far a Dieppe, it should have never took place. I notice you dIdn’t place Colonel Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. on the list, he actually Dropped the Atomic Bomb. And I don’t recall ever seeing a order for him to drop the bomb

            And as far a Corrupt Goes, so was Congressman/Representative of CA. Randall Harold “the Duke” Cunningham, Naval Fighter Ace of Vietnam with 7-Kills. Probably the Most Corrupt Politician in Living History.

            I’d still like to get a copy of Admiral John Sidney “Slew” McCain, Jr.’s Sealed upon Senator John S. McCain III, (grandson) death, Court Martial Records…

          • Marcd30319

            Again, more non-sequiturs, Secundius, and more mis-direction, relativism, and equivalency over the merits (of lack of) of naming LPD-26 after John Murtha.

            Duke Cunningham was corrupt, and certainly he does not derserve to be named after any ship. But John Murtha was also corrupt (Abscam) and he threw the Marine Corps under the bus over Haditha. That is inexcusable.

            Again, what is the point, and more to the point is what is your point?

            To deflect perfectly legitimate criticism over naming a warship after a corrupt politician?

            Maybe we should just not name any U.S. Navy ship since human being are flawed and the fog of war often gives commanders poor, contradictory choices.

            How about this — let’s name LPD-26 the USS Secundius since you seem to be without sin as you throw your stones.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            With Murtha, if it wasn’t Political, then it was either Payback or Merit. If Payback, who was the Buyer/Seller. If Merit, it had to be the Pentagon. As far a USS. Secundius, I prefer USS. Macedonian instead. Better Exploits and reading…

          • Marcd30319

            Secundius, naming LPD-26 was political and it was payback, too.

            All San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships were named after cities except LPD-26 which was named for John Murtha.

            According to Wikipedia, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus sent a memo to the CNO directing that LPD-26 be named after the late John Murtha. This was sourced from the Navy Times. The DOD press release dated 23 April 2010 was numbered 329-10.

            This decision by SECNAV Mabus remains highly controversial as noted in a recent Washingtom Post by Dan Lamothe dated March 20, 2015 which covers the entire issue quite well.

            The article does note that of the eight Marines that Murtha accused of being mass murders in the Haditha case, six were never charged, one was acquited, and one pleaded guilty only for dereliction of duty.

            As far as USS Macedonia, there were two sailing frigates that served in the U.S. Navy in the 19th century.

          • Secundius

            @ Marce30319.

            Actually the First and the Second USS Macedonian, were one in the same. in 1834, Shipwrights told the Navy that the ship had to be rebuilt from the Keel up because she wasn’t up to Standards and couldn’t mount the newer guns that just entering into Naval service. Her final destruction, was in 9 June 1922 in a Port Fire. She was not replaced.

            The USS. Macedonian and the SS. Macedonia, were two different ship’s…

          • Marcd30319

            Yes, ad if this blog site didn’t go bat crazy, I would hae included the DANFS and Wikipedia URLs.

            Macedonian (frigate) i

            On 11 June 1826 Macedonian departed Norfolk for service on the Pacific station, returning to Hampton Roads, Va., 30 October 1828. She decommissioned in 1828 and was broken up at the Norfolk Navy Yard.

            Published:Mon Jan 26 11:50:50 EST 2015

            Macedonian (frigate) ii

            The second Macedonian, a 36‑gun frigate, was rebuilt from the keel of the first Macedonian at Gosport (later Norfolk) Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., beginning in 1832; and was launched and placed in service in 1836, Capt. Thomas ap C. Jones in command.

            From the end of that year through 1870, Macedonian served as school and practice ship for midshipmen at the Naval Academy, first at Newport, Va., then after the Civil War at Annapolis, Md. In 1871 she was laid up in ordinary at the Norfolk Navy Yard, where she remained until 31 December 1875 when she was sold to Wiggin and Robinson for merchant service.

            Published:Wed Jan 28 08:56:57 EST 2015

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Actually, I read the book, “Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian…

            Are you having Med’s. problems? Speech pattern, little off.

          • Marcd30319

            They are quotes from the DANFS, Secundius. I ignore the snark.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.
            First Question. NO, just sharing information.
            Second Question. Also NO, Your comments seem a little “disjointed”, just concerned. If you feel SNARKED, I’ll discontinue any further communications with you…

          • Marcd30319

            First Reply: If you want to share information then find a more suitable venue. Talking about DOD IG audits in the message board about an article on an upcoming ship christening oout of place and very off-topic.

            Second Reply: When you ask about someone not being on their meds, you cannot fail but to conclude that the query may be snarky.

            Again, read what I wrote. I said that the USNI blog goes bat crazy when you post URLs so I cut-and-pasted the relevant DANFS entries for the two Macedonian.

            As far as receiving any future communications, as long as you post here, you may very well hear from me.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            1. I choose this site, because it was only site I knew were in.
            2. Your comments, seem Fragmented, you’d star a word, spaceing between letters and than end word.
            3. It’s MACEDONIA(N), not Macedoni(a)…

          • Marcd30319

            1. This seemed rather gabled. Throwing stones while living in a glass house? If you set the standards, you better follow through.
            2. I am at work, so I respond on the fly and sometimes typos happens. In fact, you just proved hat typos do happen by your number two comment in your last post.
            3. See above. Mixed CAPS, inconsistencies, etc.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Two and half years ago I had a Stroke, sometimes my comments are Fluid, other times Gibberish. I’m trying to Improve on that note. Double and Triple checking Syntax and Sentencing Structures for Typo’s, too. Sometimes I catch them, and sometimes I don’t…

          • Marcd30319

            My sympathy to your health issues, SEcundius, but you are the one who brought this up. Again, when you are in a hurry and dealing with issues such as yours, you make allowances.
            All the best!

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            All I did was to Voice an Opinion, you Sir acted on that opinion. You could have said Nothing, and nothing would happen. But you chose not too…

          • Marcd30319

            And I voiced my opinion, sir. That’s called Freedom of Speech. Live with it.

            And if anyone posts something that is off-topic, factually
            suspect or just plain nonsensical, don’t act surprise or hurt if someone replies.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            AG: Marine Audit Revoked Due to Links to Slushy Accounts, if typo than TYPO. Will read further, Thanks…

          • Marcd30319

            Yes, Secundius, it is a typo on that Defense Industry Daily article. It should have been IG, not AG, as in Inspector General, not Attorney General.

            The first link in the DID article is from the Federal News Radio web site, and it makes no mention of the Attorney General or the U.S. Department of Justice. It does mention the DOD Inspector General. The scond link if the actual memo from the DOD IG office about this audit.

            From IDI article

            The squeaky-clean audit handed to the Marine Corps in 2013 is being revoked , with the Inspector General’s Office stating that ongoing investigations had uncovered irregularities during the FY 2014 audit, voiding the FY 2012 audit awarded in December 2013. The Treasury discovered that among the disastrously commingled chaos of its “suspense accounts,” there were unattributed Marine FY 2012 transactions. The hope appears to be to unwind those for which they have evidence, restate the figures and re-pass the audit.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            This might just change your theory about Political Corruption too. If the Marines are really guilty of Cooking the Books, it might also explain how Murtha got a ship named after him…

          • Marcd30319

            Really?

            How do you know that this audit was done by uniformed Marines. Ii could have been dome by civilian DOD employees or conractors?

            But what is truly disturbing and offensive in this last posting is the length that you are willing to go to score some obscure point over a meaningless arugument about the naming a ship after a corrupt politician like John Murtha. What he did in the Haditha case was truly indenfensible.

            But equally indefensible is your continued pursuit of this inane, insulting, unintelligible, increasing obscure discussion thread that you instigated that has devolved to insulting the integrity and honor of the uniformed Marine Corps.

            Truly shameful.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I DON’T SIR, I’M SORRY, BUT I DON’T. But to put the Marines on a pedestal where they can’t be reached, is just plain stupid. There are Good Marines and Bad Marines, just like any Military, Government, Corporate, Commerical or Private Structure. Your either a Good Person, or a Bad One. And unfortunately History show’s more Bad Ones, than Good Ones…

          • Marcd30319

            And yet this does not prevent you from smearing the Corps or rushing to judgment.

            Okay, here is a direct question, so try to stay on topic and not go off on a tanget about Halsey or that internal DOD IG investigation about the USMC audit.

            Why do you have no problem about naming LPD-26 after the late Congressman John Murtha?

            Please factor in your consideration that these LPD class is named after cities, not persons, except in the case of LPD-26. Also, please reminded that this naming came from the Secrtary of the Navy.

            Also, please factor in Mr. Murtha’s involvment in Abscam and his switch from supporting the Iraq war to againt the war even to the point of that he smeared those Marines involved in the Haditha case. Please be reminded that ultimately one one Marine pleaded guilty to conduct unbecmong, and no one was even tried for murder.

            I include these factorsr to se how you can rationalize naming anything after Mr. Murtha.

            And do stay on topic.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I never said, I didn’t have a problem with Murtha. Just what are the Standards That All Be Judged. All it takes is one Bad Deed, to erase all of the Good Deeds. The Fourth Battle of Samar Island in WW2, was Halsey’s Waterloo. Just like the Incident in Iraq was Murtha’s Waterloo. Either all the Standard’s are the same, or you have a SHAM. The Standard Bar is not, or should be a “Learning Curve” on a graph. Higher on one side and lower on the other. You Judge everybody Equally, or you don’t judge them at all…

          • Marcd30319

            The U.S. Navy names its amphibious transport dock warships after cities.

            That is the standard.

            Except LPD-26 which is named after John Murtha, politician, at the order of the Secretary of the Navy, another politician.

            With politics, there are no real standards, except they are low.

            And the U.S. Navy still named two warships after Halsey.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I wanted to clarify, but i forgot, too. On the USMC Accounting, it wasn’t the Inspector General’s Office of the Navy. It was the Attorney General’s Office of the United States, that caught them…

          • Marcd30319

            Secundius, if you click the hyper-link in that Defense New article, it goes to a memo from the DOD Inspector General’s office.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I got information from DID (Defense Industry Daily)…

          • Marcd30319

            Again, the hyper-link in the Defense Industry Daily to you to the DOD Inspector General’s memo on this Marine Corp investigation.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Thought I’d share some Scuttlebutt Information with you. According to DID (Defense Industry Daily), the AG has found the the USMC have been Cooking Their Accounting Books, for the New Arm’s Budget Appropriations…

          • Marcd30319

            And this has exactly nothing to do with this article and LPD-26.

  • Bhess

    Murtha was an embarrassment. Bad luck ship.

    • publius_maximus_III

      How about the USS Blue Dress instead?

  • Eric Arllen

    Sad. Naming ships has become a charade of succeeding sets of craven politicians of both parties cynically using the honor of the Navy to stick a meaningless (to them), but utilitarian placemark in our sacred Naval record.

    I needed to take a shower after being reminded of this. Of course, the shower was pretty unsatisfactory as it was these same jackhole politicians who jammed lousy waterflow restricted shower heads on us several years ago giving us water hours ashore.

  • Bill

    I didn’t know “unwavering support” included false accusations of war crimes. Learn something from this SecNav every day.

    • NavySubNuke

      He also taught me that oilers and other non-combatants such as little crappy ships are part of the “battle fleet” —- who knew???

  • I wish all who sail her fair winds and a following sea and my God bless United States Ship Murtha. Think of the sailors that will man her and sail her in harms way. If the name of a ship was any measure of the vessel how about Jimmy Carter, Gabby Gibbon(?), Lyndon Johnson (Zumwault class DD vs. carrier), or CVN Stennis, who was he. Lets go back to the old naming traditions. Subs after fish, etc. Footnote I think Murtha was turd…MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

    • publius_maximus_III

      She’s the Murtha of all amphibious warships.

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