The USS John S. McCain now has a third namesake in honor of Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
The destroyer was commissioned in 1994 and was named in honor of McCain’s father and grandfather, both of whom were Navy admirals.
“Today, we add the story of Senator John S. McCain to the spirit of the mighty vessel which already carries the legacy of his father and grandfather,” Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said aboard the destroyer at a ceremony in Yokosuka, Japan, on Thursday, local time. “As a warrior and a statesman who has always put country first, Sen. John McCain never asked for this honor, and he would never seek it. But we would be remiss if we did not etch his name alongside his illustrious forebears, because this country would not be the same were it not for the courageous service of all three of these great men.”
“I am deeply honored to be added to the name of the naval destroyer USS John S. McCain,” Sen. McCain 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.”
McCain’s father was a former U.S. Pacific Command commander, while his grandfather was a World War II carrier task force commander.
McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958 and was a naval aviator during the Vietnam War. He was held captive as a prisoner of war for five years.
He was diagnosed last summer with a form a brain cancer known as glioblastoma and has been receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments. As a result, he has stayed in Arizona since December.