USS JOHN P. MURTHA LPD-26 Patch – Sew On
A 4.5 inch squadron patch of the USS JOHN P. MURTHA LPD-26.
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha (1932–2010) of Pennsylvania. John P. Murtha is homeported at Naval Base San Diego
On 9 April 2010, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the Navy’s 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock would be named John P. Murtha (LPD-26). A former United States Marine Corps officer, Murtha was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1974. Murtha served as either chairman or ranking minority member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee from 1989 to 2010.
The contract to build John P. Murtha was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding on 1 April 2011. John P. Murtha’s keel was laid down on 6 June 2012 at the Ingalls Shipbuilding yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The ship was launched on 30 October 2014, christened five months later on 21 March 2015, delivered to the Navy on 13 May 2016, placed in active service on 11 August 2016, and commissioned on 8 October 2016. The ship was sponsored by Congressman Murtha’s daughter, Donna S. Murtha
The decision to deviate from the naming convention for the class, which prior to John P. Murtha had been named after cities or locations, was not without controversy. Some members of Congress questioned the appropriateness of naming a military vessel for Murtha after his call for withdrawing from the Iraq War in 2005 and his public accusation of Marines involved in the Haditha incident. Similar questions arose when, in 2012, Secretary Mabus proposed naming USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords. In connection with this controversy, United States Senator Roy Blunt added an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act which required the Navy to report to Congress on how effectively it was adhering to established naming conventions.
The resulting report, released in 2015, demonstrated a consistent tradition of naval secretaries making “occasional exceptions” to established ship-naming conventions, beginning in 1798 when Navy Secretary Benjamin Stoddert broke with naming convention by naming one of the original six frigates of the United States Navy as USS Chesapeake.