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05 March 2009

Navy To Christen USNS Wally Schirra

from U.S. Department of Defense News Release

The Navy will launch and christen dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra, Sunday, March 8, 2009, during a 7 a.m. PDT ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif.

Continuing the Lewis and Clark-class (T-AKE) tradition of honoring legendary pioneers and explorers, the Navy’s newest underway replenishment ship recognizes Walter “Wally” Schirra Jr., a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Navy test pilot who served in both World War II and the Korean War. On Oct. 3, 1962, Schirra became the fifth American in space and is honored as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. He holds the distinction of being the only astronaut to fly in each of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. Schirra officially retired from the Navy and NASA in 1969.

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