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Navy's newest supply ship to be launched in San Diego

August 16, 2009 |  1:52 pm

Matthew 

With the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle over the bow, the Navy's newest cargo/ammunition ship will be christened and launched this afternoon at the General Dynamics/NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

The 689-foot-long ship, built at a cost of $500 million, is being named for Navy Commodore Matthew Perry, who opened the trade route to the East by sailing into Tokyo Bay in 1853. Perry also fought pirates in the West Indies.

The ship, which weighs 42,000 tons, will allow the U.S. to replenish U.S. and allied warships at sea with food, fuel and other goods.

The ship will be staffed by 124 civil service mariners and 11 U.S. sailors. Christening honors will be done by Hester Evans, a great-great-great granddaughter of Perry.

The public is invited to the 5 p.m. ceremony at the shipyard at East Harbor Drive and 28th Street.

-- Tony Perry (no relation) in San Diego

Photo: The U.S.N.S. Matthew Perry. Credit: General Dynamics/NASSCO

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