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VIDEO: Sen. John McCain Added to Destroyer’s Namesake Along with Father, Grandfather

Adm. John S. McCain Sr., Adm. John S. McCain Jr., Sen. John S. McCain (R-Ariz.)

This post has been updated with a statement from Sen. John S. McCain.

When the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) was commissioned in 1994, it was named after Adm. John S. McCain, Sr. and Adm. John S. McCain, Jr. Today that list was expanded to include John S. McCain III.

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced on the destroyer’s flight deck in Japan the namesake McCain would now officially include the senior senator from Arizona.

“On 9 May, 1989 my good friend and then-Secretary of the Navy Will Ball named the ship after the first two McCains and now I’m proud to add a third,” Spencer said.

The expansion of the namesake of the destroyer was laid out in a July memo from Spencer outlining the change.

The McCain family has had an enduring legacy in the Navy. Adm. John S. McCain Sr. was a World War II carrier task force commander. His son served as U.S. Pacific Command commander from 1968 to 1972. Sen. John S. McCain was naval aviator who was shot down over Vietnam and was a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973.

“I am deeply honored to be added to the name of the naval destroyer USS John S. McCain,” the senator said in a statement. “My father and grandfather dedicated their entire lives to their naval service. The greatest honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes, and I look back with incredible gratitude for my formative years in the Navy. I hope the generations of sailors who will serve aboard the USS McCain will find the same fulfillment that my family does in serving a cause greater than oneself.”

The ceremony comes as the ship is in drydock in Yokosuka, Japan undergoing repairs following an August 21, 2017 collision off the coast of Singapore.

  • makalapa10

    After they crash they add the kid…

  • Bhess

    His grandpa always looked like the epitome of a crusty old sailor to me.

  • Marcd30319

    A richly deserved amendment long overdue.

  • Eric Arllen

    Perhaps the ship’s name amendment is a subtle (or, maybe, not so subtle) signal that it’s way, way, way, way past time for McCain III to just “shuttle off to Buffalo”?

  • proudrino

    Well now two of the Keating Five have been honored with a ship. I guess corruption in public office isn’t all that big a deal anymore. Only a matter time until a supply ship is named after Fat Leonard.

    More seriously, I do not agree with the convention of naming ships after living human beings as some sort of political reward. Gabby Giffords and John Lewis are two examples of individuals whose record is spotty enough to question if such honors are appropriate. Adding McCain to the family ship is appropriate, I guess, and the timing is to give the honor in the final months of the Senator’s life but I still think that this kind of honor should be given posthumously.

    • dboconnor

      In general I very much agree with your views on naming ships for living individuals or for people who are primarily known as politicians. I am not a fan of Senator McCain.
      I do think there are times when naming a ship for a living individual is right though. I had the pleasure of knowing Captain Thomas Hudner. He was a fine, kind gentleman. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions as a Naval Aviator in Korea.
      After 30 years in the Navy he served the Veterans of Massachusetts as Commissioner of Veterans Services in state government. The USS Thomas Hudner was named for him about 6 months before his death at age 93 last year. I know he was happy about the honor and I was happy for him.

  • MDK187

    Barf.

  • RobM1981

    This is why it’s so hard to raise kids these days. How do you explain this kind of thing, and still try to tell them that we have a meritocracy, that they should “do the right thing,” etc.?

    • proudrino

      It’s interesting that the SECNAVNOTE only lauds Senator McCain for his service and time as a POW where he “returned with honor.” No mention of the less than honorable aspects of Senator McCain’s service to the nation since then.

      Still a better criteria and more deserving for the honor than Gabby Giffords, John Lewis, Jack Murtha, Cesar Chavez, or Harvey Milk.

    • Duane

      If you believe John McCain has “no merit”, then you are either misinformed, or you do not comprehend the meaning of the term.

      • RobM1981

        There’s a wiki article that lists the names of the Arleigh Burke Class. Take a look.

        You’re telling me that Senator John McCain, of the Keating Five, belongs on the same list as John Paul Jones, Ramage, Burke, O’Kane, Decatur, etc.? Seriously?

        Sure, he served, but he also treated his wife like dirt.

        All people are flawed, of course, but before we name a US warship after someone we should take a bit more of a critical eye than if we are placing a plaque in a park.

        Yes, he’s as “honorable” as some others on that list, but the right solution is to tighten the list – not lower the standards. Yet another example of the keepers of the purse calling the shots – even though it’s not actually their money.

        • Duane

          Read my reply above about how John McCain distinguished himself from every other American POW in the Vietnam War. Then try to claim he is not a bona fide hero of the US Navy, according to its finest traditions.

          • plkatk

            Explain to us all then why McCain’s captors and many of his fellow POWs called him the Songbird. He was an infamous snitch in the Hanoi Hilton trying to curry favor with the guards and privileges for himself. That is NOT heroic.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    While I am not a fan of SENATOR McCain, I do acknowledge the honorable and heroic service he rendered on behalf of our country. His family’s legacy is a rich one within the US Navy institution. This is an appropriate step to take.

    • What makes him any different than hundreds of other naval aviators who were shot down and captured? The only reason he is getting this honor is because he is a career politician.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        He is part of a renowned Navy legacy. They aren’t renaming the ship after him. He happens to continue the namesake and legacy of his family. My post is quite clear. if you have heartache with this decision, take it up with SecNav.

        • So you’re saying it isn’t because he is a politician, but because his father was an admiral. Okay, I guess that makes it so much better.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I am saying that if YOU have such heartburn over this, your animus would be better directed elsewhere. I have personally had NOTHING to say about the NAVY’S decision, because they didn’t ask me. John McCain the Senator did indeed serve his, OUR, country with distinction, honor, and courage when he wore the Navy’s uniform. So did his father, and his grandfather. The article is quite clear about why it was done.

            OK?

      • Duane

        Actually, John McCain did perform differently than his fellow POWs in the Hanoi Hilton. At the time he was shot down, and nearly killed by multiple beatings from his captors, his father was a very senior and famous active duty Admiral in our Navy. After extensively torturing him, the North Vietnamese offered McCain an immediate release. McCain understood that his release would be a propaganda ploy for the NV, because it would confirm the popular anti-war notion at the time of “Fortunate Son” (you know, like a certain rich kid socialite future POTUS claiming “bone spurs” to avoid service).

        McCain refused the offer of early release, which he knew would only earn him many additional beatings for his lack of cooperation, when instead he could have been hanging out in Manhattan chasing you know what with that other guy.

        I know well a man who was there in Hanoi who was cell mates for awhile with John McCain (he was a USAF Major General, ret., and shot down over NV on a bombing mission in his F-4). He told me that he and the other POWs in the north who knew John McCain had nothing but the greatest respect for him, and recognized his heroism. This fellow POW was not a Republican or Democrat, so his support of McCain throughout his political career had nothing to do with partisanship.

        He used to joke with me and others that “I used to sleep with John McCain.”

  • Steve Smith

    I wonder if it will crash or be captured first.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    This is a damn shame. I used to have a lot of respect for him. But A- it seems to me he is all-consumed with the fact he was not able to become President of the United States (actually got beat in one of the worst landslides in recent history) and Donald Trump was, regardless of whether that is right, wrong, indifferent, fair, unfair, etc. and he simply does not seem to be able to process that …. — and B- I recently saw something that made me nearly sick – he recorded a detailed, lengthy radio propaganda statement for Radio Hanoi and it was really disgusting to me. I can not imagine the level of torture he endured; however, I still cannot accept his betrayal of pretty much the entire code of conduct. If you guys don’t believe me you can Google it up yourself. It’s really bad. Again, I can never begin to understand what he went through. However, as I understand it, this is the type of thing that is inexcusable. (Some sources say that this is part of the reason he was not promoted to admiral) …. And his recent record is atrocious. I used to think he was an American hero. I think much different now.

  • Would all the haters appreciate USS Ivanka Trump?

    • Jack D Ripper

      Or the USS Hillery in your case

      • Centaurus

        USS Nixon !

    • proudrino

      No for the reasons I outlined previously. With rare exception (like Arleigh Burke), no living person should be honored by having a ship named after them. The previous administration named ships for partisan political reasons so we ended up with a disgusting number of ships named after individuals as reward for good service to the leftist agenda. Jack Murtha declared Marines to be war criminals and yet sailors are forced to serve on a ship honoring him. Gabby Giffords only accomplishment was getting shot and she was honored. John Lewis was a Civil Rights pioneer but his career since them shows him to be a bitter partisan racist. Harvey Milk served in the Navy but his accomplishments arise from his sexual orientation and the fact he was killed. Had Hellery won office it would be only a matter of time that Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, or Rahm Emanuel would have ships named after them.

      Ships are named to honor and inspire those who serve on them. They are not supposed to be political rewards for the administration’s henchmen. It must be hard to be proud of serving on a ship named after a military-hating leftist like Jack Murtha or an insignificant ex-Congresswoman like Gabby Giffords. So….. If after Ivanka Trump has left this world there is something worthy of honor then we can talk. Not before.

      • Duane

        dup

      • Duane

        Jack Murtha was a decorated US Marine combat veteran … he volunteered for service in Vietnam a decade after he served his active duty during the Korean War. Murtha was awarded a Bronze Star for heroism plus two Purple Hearts as a volunteer in VN. Murtha served in a leadership position in Congress under the administrations of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He cooperated well with all those GOP Presidents to fund Reagan’s Cold War buildup, Bush’s Desert Storm, and Bush 43’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was hardly Obama’s hack, served only 2 years under his Admin.

        Gabby Giffords was the only Congressman to be shot and nearly killed while in office. She was shot by a wacko extreme right wing mass shooter. She was not a liberal, being a confirmed “blue dog democrat” conservative, and both opposed ObamaCare and supported strong border controls (her district shares a border with Mexico). While in office her husband was active duty Navy with a rank of Captain, and he was also a NASA astronaut. Rep. Giffords was no Obama hack.

        • Chesapeakeguy

          What? WHAT? “Gabby Giffords was the only Congressman to be shot and nearly killed while in office”? On what planet? There have been plenty of incidents where Congressmen were shot and died, and some others survived. Remember Steve Scalise, shot by one of your beloved Democrats? Senator John Stennis was shot in 1973 and survived.

          John Murtha escaped possible prosecution for corruption via DYING! Nobody argues his military service. But do tell Duane, based on military service only, shouldn’t Duke Cunningham have a ship named after him? Hmmm?

  • Ed L

    Shameful to the point of being disgusting

    • Duane

      The only thing that is shameful is many of the horrible comments in this thread attacking John McCain.

  • Duane

    Note all the usual suspects, routinely identifying themselves as radical Trumpkins who respect nobody and nothing that came before Trump, are getting their panties in a knot over deserved honors for John McCain, a proven war hero, but who dares to oppose the current and hopefully temporary insanity of a POTUS who was a draft dodger “suffering” from bone spurs who declared he was a Vietnam war hero too, because he “managed to avoid venereal disease” while bravely pussy-grabbing his way through decades of Manhattan cocktail parties.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Duane? DUANE? Dry them eyes, snowflake. Your gal Hillary LOST. She’s still a loser, as are all of YOU leftist ideologues who voted for her. Check back into your safe space before you run out of Crayons. LOL..