USS New York (LPD-21), the fifth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named after the state of New York. The New York has a crew of 360, and can also carry up to 700 Marines.
ConstructionThe ship is the first to be designed fully from the CAD-screen up to support all three of the Marines' primary mobility capabilities — the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), Landing Craft Air Cushion and MV-22B Osprey.
Shortly after 11 September 2001, Governor of New York George E. Pataki wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England requesting that the Navy bestow the name USS New York on a surface warship involved in the War on Terrorism in honor of September 11's victims.
The contract to build the New York was awarded to Northrop Grumman Ship Systems of New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2003. The New York was under construction in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
7.5 short tons (6.8 t) of the steel used in the ship's construction came from the rubble of the World Trade Center. The steel was melted down at Amite Foundry and Machine in Amite, Louisiana, to cast the ship's bow section. It was poured into the molds on 9 September 2003, with 7 short tons (6.4 t) cast to form the ship's "stem bar" — part of the ship's bow. The shipyard workers reportedly treated it with "reverence usually accorded to religious relics", gently touching it as they walked by. One worker delayed his retirement after 40 years' work to be part of the project.On 9 September 2004, Gordon R. England announced that two of her sister ships will be named the USS Arlington (LPD-24) and the USS Somerset (LPD-25) in commemoration of the places two of the other planes used in the attack came down: Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and Arlington, Virginia.
Christening & CommissioningThe New York was christened on 1 March 2008, in a ceremony at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. Dotty England, the ship’s sponsor, smashed the traditional champagne bottle on the ship’s bow and christened the ship the New York. Several dignitaries were in attendance, including Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, members of the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department, and family members of September 11 victims. The champagne bottle did not break the first time it was struck against the hull of the ship, but the second attempt was successful.
The ship was delivered to the Navy on 21 August 2009 at New Orleans. The ship's delivery was accepted by its first commanding officer, CDR F. Curtis Jones,USN, a native of Binghamton, New York. It set sail for Norfolk, Virginia, on 13 October.
The ship commissioning of USS New York is planned to take place on 7 November 2009 in New York City. On 2 November 2009 the ship passed the World Trade Center Site for the first time and gave the site a 21-gun salute.Approximately one in seven of the plank owners are from New York state, a larger number than usual.
Slideshow photos by: Dom Pedone - Ozone Park, NY