Warship Named After First Black Admiral

May 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Capt. Samuel L. Gravely Jr. became the first Black admiral in the U.S. Navy when he received two stars, Capt. Samuel Gravely Jr.marking his advancement to rear admiral in June 1971. Now, a Navy ship bearing his name will be a lasting legacy.

The nation’s most technologically advanced warship has been named after the first African-American admiral.

The U.S.S. Gravely, an aegis guided Navy destroyer is “beautiful,” says Alma Gravely, the widow of Admiral Samuel L. Gravely.

“My husband would love her,” she said.

Shipbuilders at Northrop Grumman spent several years building the vessel, and under Navy tradition it required a sponsor. Alma Gravely served as the sponsor.

“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” she said. “I really didn’t realize that it was going to affect me emotionally so much until I came down to it yesterday, and I could hardly hold tears back.”

Admiral J. Paul Reason, another Black flag officer, who said he drew his inspiration from Adm. Gravely, said, “He was our guide. He was our ready source of career advice. He was our ready source of encouragement.”

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