[sarex] Navy ship named for Alan Shepard Jr
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Wed Dec 6 13:23:44 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC
Permission grant by The Eagle Tribune N. Andover.Ma to use this article.
Navy ship named for Alan Shepard Jr.
By Shelley J. Thompson
A new Navy ship will be christened today in the name of astronaut Alan
Shepard Jr., the first American in space and one of Derry's famous sons.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu is slated to give the principal
address at the ceremony this morning in California. The ship, the USNS
Alan Shepard, will launch from the General Dynamics National Steel and
Ship Building Co. in San Diego.
"I think he'd be damned proud," Derry historian Richard Holmes said
yesterday. "He was always proud of being a Naval officer."
Shepard, who died in 1998 from leukemia, served in the Navy for about 30
years until 1974, when he retired from the Navy and NASA. He was one of
the Mercury astronauts named by NASA in 1959 and was the first American
in space in 1961. He is one of a dozen Americans to walk on the moon.
Holmes said Derry residents would be proud to know the Navy chose to
"We're all very excited about it," said Pinkerton Academy trustee Marion
Pounder, Shepard's classmate in the Class of 1940.
She said Shepard always gave the academy credit for a good background,
not only in the classroom, but in his other activities at the school.
"Shep," as he was known, was active in drama and athletics at Pinkerton.
According to an issue of the alumni magazine published after he died,
Shepard knew early in life that the Navy was in his future. "Aye, Aye,
Sir," was the saying published with his yearbook photo
Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Mary Anderson said the academy is "thrilled
that the U.S. Navy has chosen to honor one of our own. May the USS Alan
Shepard sail proudly and safely."
The Alan Shepard, a 689-foot ship with a top speed of 20 knots, is a
combat support ship that will deliver supplies to Navy ships, transfer
cargo and provide logistical support, according to Sen. John E. Sununu,
R-N.H., who announced the christening and launch in a statement this week.
"New Hampshire can be proud of the role the USNS Alan Shepard will play
in providing for our Navy's readiness well into the 21st century,"
Sununu said in the statement.
Across the country are schools and buildings in Alan Shepard Jr.'s name.
Some of them are:
r* *Alan B. Shepard Jr. Post Office, Derry
r* *Alan B. Shepard Highway, Interstate 93 in New Hampshire
r* *Alan B. Shepard Elementary School in Bourbonnais, Ill.
r* *Alan Shepard Elementary School in Long Grove, Iowa
r* *Alan B. Shepard Middle School in San Antonio, Texas
r* *Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Ill.
r* *Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award given by the Astronauts
Memorial Fund at the Kennedy Space Center
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