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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

PCU JOHN F. KENNEDY   (CVN-79)


(Profile courtesy of ©Windjammer-Arts Naval Art & Aviation Art)


Operational and Building Data
Gerald R. Ford Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier
Awarded Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
5 June 2015 22 Aug 2015 7 December 2019      
Builder: Northrop Grumman Newport News, Newport News, VA

Advance construction started with a "first cut of steel" ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 25 February 2011. CVN-79 is the second in a new class of ships designed to replace Enterprise and Nimitz-class carriers and save more than $5 billion in total ownership costs during her planned 50-year service life, when compared to a Nimitz.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced, 27 May 2011, CVN-79 would be named John F. Kennedy to honor the 35th President of the United States and pay tribute to his service in the Navy, in the government, and to the nation. Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) had proposed naming this ship (or the subsequent CVN-80) Barry M. Goldwater, after the late senator from Arizona.

Huntington Ingalls Industries received, 5 June 2015, a $3.35 billion contract award for the detail design and construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).

As of February 2017, CVN-79 was about 25% complete. As of July 2018, she was scheduled for delivery to the Navy in September 2024.


Specifications
General Characteristics
(As of December 2005)
Displacement: approximately 100,000 long tons (approximately 101,600 metric tons) full load
Dimensions: 1,092' x 134' (flight deck, 256')  /  332.8 x 40.8 (flight deck, 78) meters
Power plant: 2 nuclear reactors; 4 shafts
Speed: 30+ knots
Armament: Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile; Rolling Airframe Missile; CIWS
Aircraft: 75+
Crew: 4,660 (ship, air wing and staff)

Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Namesake
John F. Kennedy
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CVN-79 is named after John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963), 35th President of the United States of America (1961–1963).

(Read about LT John F. Kennedy, USNR, at the Naval History & Heritage Command website.)

For many observers, Kennedy's presidency represented the ascendance of youthful idealism in the aftermath of World War II. JFK was the youngest person elected US President, and the youngest to die in office.

Portrait photo of President John F. Kennedy at his desk in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C. This is the first White House photograph made of the President at his desk. Photo by Abbie Rowe.

Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Boston
John F. Kennedy
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LT(JG) John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 in Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 1 June 1943. Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

(Read about LT John F. Kennedy, USNR, at the Naval History & Heritage Command website.)

Robert M. Cieri

John F. Kennedy
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A photo illustration of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jay M. Chu (# 110527-N-DX698-001).

(The carrier appears to be, actually, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 aboard).

Bill Gonyo


Robert M. Cieri
Tommy Trampp

Design & Construction
CVN-79
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One of the first pieces of steel is cut for CVN-79, the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class, during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, 25 February 2011. Photo by John Whalen, courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. U.S. Navy photo # 110225-O-XX000-001.

Ron Reeves
CVN-79
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Ceremony participants signed the 33,000-pound piece of steel before it was cut. Pictured from left are Mike Shawcross, vice president, Gerald R. Ford-class Engineering and CVN-79 Construction, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding; U.S. Navy CAPT Kevin Terry, supervisor of shipbuilding, Newport News; The Honorable Madeline McMillan, vice mayor, City of Newport News; RADM Michael McMahon, program executive officer for aircraft carriers; Rep. Bobby Scott (Va-3); Rep. Wittman (Va-1); Rep. Rigell (Va-2); and Matt Mulherin, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. Photo by Chris Oxley.

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding
CVN-79
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The Commemorative First Cut of Steel Ceremony for the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) was held at Newport News Shipbuilding on 25 February 2011. Photo by Chris Oxley (# DCS11-119-286).

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, via Ron Reeves
CVN-79
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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Ray Mabus, announces the name of the next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA, 29 May 2011. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien (# 110529-N-UH963-087).

USN
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Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the 35th President, John F. Kennedy, addresses friends and family after the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Ray Mabus, announced the name of the next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier as USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA, 29 May 2011. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien (# 110529-N-UH963-134).

USN
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The aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) will be the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class, the Navy's newest class of nuclear aircraft carriers. The ship's first steel was cut in December 2010, and delivery to the Navy is scheduled no later than 2024.

NS027903b: Illustration courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding (# DCS09-14-1), 2008.

NS027903: U.S. Navy photo illustration courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding (# 110623-N-ZZ999-203), 23 June 2011.

NS027903a: U.S. Navy photo illustration courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding (# 110623-N-ZZ999-204), 23 June 2011.

Huntington Ingalls Industries
CVN-79
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A unit for the future aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) rests on the assembly platen at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA, 5 March 2014. This is the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers being built by the shipyard for the U.S. Navy. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Chris Oxley (# 140305-N-ZZ999-001).

Robert M. Cieri
Keel Laying and Authentication Ceremony, Newport News, Va., 22 August 2015
CVN-79
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CVN-79, John F. Kennedy, Keel Laying Ceremony, August 22, 2015. Newport News Shipbuilding (Newport News, VA).

Ron Reeves
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The Honorable Joseph P. Kennedy II, Congressman, 4th District of Massachusetts, signs the keel unit before the ceremony. His great uncle was President John F. Kennedy, CVN-79's namesake.

Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by John Whalen (# 31-DCS15-482-69).

Courtesy of HII, via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The official party looks on as the welder, Mr. Leon Walston, welds the ship's sponsor's (Caroline Kennedy) initials, to permanently put them in place. In the lead row, left to right, are RADM "Buddy" Yates, N.N. S.B. President Matt Mulherin, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and Rep. Joseph Kennedy III.

Photo by Stanley Kroll, via Bob Haner
CVN-79
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Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), in Newport News, Va., 22 August 2015. Also pictured (left to right) are RADM Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe; and Rep. Joseph Kennedy. U.S. Navy photo (# 150822-N-ZZ999-001) courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries; photo by Chris Oxley.

Ron Reeves
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As above.

Photo by Stanley Kroll, via Bob Haner
CVN-79
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Retired RADM Earl "Buddy" Yates uses Lead Rigger Mike Williams's walkie-talkie to give the command to Crane Operator Dave Rushing to "hoist this keel unit into the dry dock." Yates was the first commanding officer of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67).

Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by Chris Oxley (# 33-DCS15-481-507).

Courtesy of HII, via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The keel laying section, after the ceremony, is moved into the drydock, and down into the blocks. Admiral "Buddy" Yates gave the order for the crane operator (Mr. David Rushing) to do that.

Photo by Stanley Kroll, via Bob Haner
CVN-79
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A screen grab of a Huntington Ingalls Industries' video of the keel laying of nuclear carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). HII image.

Tommy Trampp
CVN-79
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The giant 1,050-ton crane known as "Big Blue" carries the engine room No. 2 unit over Dry Dock 12 during the carrier's keel-laying ceremony, 22 August 2015.

Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by Chris Oxley (# 34-DCS15-481-548).

Courtesy of HII, via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), #314 Lift, pump room module, 1 April 2016.

©Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by John Whalen (# 35-DCS16-203-125).

Courtesy of HII,
via Ron Reeves
CVN-79
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A crane lowers the Emergency Diesel Generator (EDG) into a compartment on the future John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), 20 April 2016.

©Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by Chris Oxley (# 37-DCS16-247-165).

Courtesy of HII
CVN-79
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Shipbuilder Rick Jenkins directs a shipyard locomotive carrying one of the shafts that will go aboard the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), June 2016.

©Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by John Whalen (# 39-DCS16-346-8).

Courtesy of HII
CVN-79
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The aft module of the future John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is lifted into Dry Dock 12 during a superlift, 30 August 2016.

©Huntington Ingall Industries Newport News Shipbuilding (HII) photo by John Whalen (# 40-DCS16-536-163).

Courtesy of HII,
via Ron Reeves
CVN-79
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The future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) in Dry Dock 12, Newport News, VA, 1 November 2016. Photo by Chris Oxley, ©Newport News Shipbuilding.

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The Main Turbine Generator (MTG) is lifted onto the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), 2 November 2016. Photo by Chris Oxley, ©Newport News Shipbuilding (# DCS16-651-122).

Courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries
CVN-79
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The future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) in Dry Dock 12, Newport News, VA, 22 December 2016. Newport News Shipbuilding was building the aircraft carrier using modular construction. Photo by Chris Oxley, ©Newport News Shipbuilding (# DCS16-740-66).

Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries,
via Ron Reeves
CVN-79
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A crane moves the lower stern into place on the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va, 22 June 2017. The second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier was 50 percent structurally complete. U.S. Navy photo by Matt Hildreth (# 170622-N-N2201-099), ©Newport News Shipbuilding.

USN
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A crane moves the lower stern into place on the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va, 22 June 2017. U.S. Navy photo by John Whalen (# 170622-N-N2201-119), ©Newport News Shipbuilding.

USN
CVN-79
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A crane moves the lower stern into place on the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) at Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va, 22 June 2017. U.S. Navy photo by John Whalen (# 170622-N-N2201-140), ©Newport News Shipbuilding.

USN
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The final piece of the underwater hull of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is lowered into place at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia, 28 September 2018. JFK is the second Gerald R. Ford-class ship and the second aircraft carrier to be named after the 35th President. The 1,096-foot hull is longer than three football fields and more than 3,000 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting construction of the ship. The christening for John F. Kennedy is scheduled for late 2019. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth, # 180928-N-N0101-110.

Video (1' 35"): Video courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding.

USN
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As if light as a feather the lower bow section of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is lowered into Dry Dock #12, 28 September 2018.

Courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries, photo by John Whalen (# DCS18-664-71).

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The anchor chains of John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) lay in the bottom of Dry Dock 12, Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia, 19 February 2019, waiting to be attached to the ship. Weighing in around 30,000 pounds, the aircraft carrier's anchor chain is 1,440-foot long, consisting of links that weigh around 136 pounds each. Photo by Ashley Cowan, courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The Island House of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) was lifted out of the Covered Modular Outfitting Facility (CMOF), 22 March 2019, to complete its preparations on the Final Assembly Platen before being lifted onto the ship.

Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries, photo by Ashley Cowan (# DCS19-149-78).

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The bow of the future USS John F Kennedy (CVN-79) nears completion in Dry Dock 12, Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia, 11 April 2019. Photo by Matt Hildreth, courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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A welder's work illuminates a dark space as John F Kennedy construction nears completion in Dry Dock 12, 15 May 2019.

Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries, photo by Matt Hildreth (# DCS19-274-20).

Courtesy of Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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Shipbuilders perform hot work on the starboard side of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), 23 May 2019.

Newport News Shipbuilding, Huntington Ingalls Industries, photo by Ashley Cowan (# DCS19-303-13).

Courtesy of Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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The island of the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is landed onto the flight deck during a mast-stepping ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., 29 May 2019. The event coincided with the birthday of the ship's namesake, former President John F. Kennedy. CAPT Todd R. Marzano, the ship's Prospective Commanding Officer, placed his aviator wings underneath the island during the ceremony. With the island, JFK is more than 90 percent structurally complete. U.S. Navy photo, courtesy HHI, by Matt Hildreth (# 190529-N-N0101-115).

Video (1' 50"): John F. Kennedy's 588-ton island was lowered on the aircraft carrier's flight deck during a ceremony held at Newport News Shipbuilding. The island stands 72 feet above the flight deck and is 56 feet long and 33 feet wide. Video courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding, via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)

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Shipyard workers watch as the upper bow unit of the future aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is fitted to the primary structure of the ship, 10 July 2019, at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding. John F. Kennedy is the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier and the second aircraft carrier to be named after the 35th president. The 1,096-foot hull is longer than three football fields and more than 3,000 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting construction of the ship. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth (# 190710-N-N2201-058).

USN
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The upper bow unit of the future aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is fitted to the primary structure of the ship, 10 July 2019, at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Matt Hildreth (# 190710-N-N2201-100).

Video (1' 04"): The final piece of the future USS John F. Kennedy's (CVN-79) flight deck was installed on 10 July 2019. The upper bow section is one of the last steel structural units, known as a superlift, to be placed on the ship. The aircraft carrier was being built with an improved build strategy that included the use of digital tools. Video courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding, via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)

CVN-79
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The future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) under construction in Dry Dock 12, 16 August 2019. Photo by Ashley Cowan, courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding, # DCS19-478-106.

Via Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
CVN-79
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Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) reached another construction milestone, 29 October 2019, as her dry dock area was flooded three months ahead of her slated production schedule leading up to the christening of the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, scheduled for 7 December 2019. The flooding of the dry dock followed other milestones, including the laying of the ship's keel on 22 August 2015, the placement of the 588-metric ton island superstructure on 29 May 2019, and the arrival of the crew on 1 October 2019. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Ferrero (# 191029-N-BD319-123).

Video (2' 08"). Courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding.

USN
Memorabilia
USS John F. Kennedy
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Ship's official seal. CAPT Todd Marzano, commanding officer, Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), and crew unveiled the ship's seal on 6 November 2019.

Elements of the seal honor President John F. Kennedy, his service to the Navy and his vision for space exploration.

The 35 stars around the outer ring represent Kennedy as our nation's 35th president. The 35th star is after his middle initial, and the two gold stars between CVN and 79 symbolize that this is the second aircraft carrier bearing his name and legacy (see CVA/CV-67 page).

The Roman numeral "CIX" or 109, is a tribute to Kennedy's heroic naval service as commander of Patrol Boat 109 in the South Pacific. The moon backdrop represents Kennedy's instrumental role in the nation's space program.

"No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space," Kennedy said in a 12 September 1962 speech at Rice University in Houston, Texas. "For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace."

Anchoring these and other elements on the seal is the ship's motto: Serve with Courage.

Bob Haner, YN1, USN (Ret.)
(Also submitted by
Don McGrogan
and Yu Chu.)

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date: 5–8 December 2019
Place: Holiday Inn, 5655 Greenwich Road,
Virginia Beach, VA
Contact: Bob Haner
Address: 312 S. Wymore Road, Apt. 103, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Phone: (407) 682-2613
E-mail: USS John F Kennedy (CV 67) Association
Web site:  
Remarks: The reunion is being done in conjunction with the Christening of the next JFK, PCU (USS) John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).
The Christening Ceremony is set of Saturday, 7 December 2019.

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website

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Last update: 11 November 2019