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Navy christens cargo ship named for Cesar Chavez

May 6, 2012 |  8:44 am

Cesar Chavez

With the symbolic breaking of a champagne bottle over the bow, the Navy christened its newest cargo-ammunition ship for civil rights leader and farmworkers organizer Cesar Chavez, who served in the Navy during World War II.

The ceremony Saturday night at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego launched the ship to join the Military Sealift Command to help maintain the Navy's worldwide presence. The ship's sponsor is Chavez's widow, Helen Fabela Chavez.

The ship, 689 feet in length, displacing 42,000 tons, is designed to bring ammunition, food, fuel and other supplies to U.S. ships at sea.


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— Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Shipyard worker Julian Cruz during construction of ship christened after Cesar Chavez. Credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press