News & Politics

The Navy Names A Ship After LBJ

The Zumwalt-class destroyer is the 34th ship named after a U.S. president.

Conceptual view of a USS Zumwalt class destroyer. This class of ship is 600 feet in length, with a beam of 80.7 feet, and displaces 15,000 tons. US Navy image.

A few weeks ago Washingtonian reported that former president Lyndon Baines Johnson had finally got his picture up on the wall at The Palm restaurant, an honor already accorded many of his fellow commanders-in-chief. Today he was granted another, grander honor: The Navy is naming a ship after him. It will be the 34th ship named after a U.S. President.

Both of LBJ’s daughters, Lyndon Johnson Robb and Luci Johnson Turpin, were expected at the Pentagon ceremony. Also attending was Lyndon Boozer, son of the president’s long-time personal secretary Yolanda Boozer, who was instrumental in getting Johnson’s picture up at The Palm.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus described the ship as a Zumwalt-class destroyer, the first named for a President, designated DDG 1002. It is under construction at the General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works in Maine with completion expected in 2018.

Mabus said, “I am pleased to honor President Johnson. His dedication to the a life of public service included bravely stepping forward to fight for his country during our entry into World War II.”

Vice President Johnson became president in November 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He was elected to a full term, and accomplished many legislative landmarks, including the Civil Rights Act, but due to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War he did not seek a second term and left office in 1969. Johnson, a former senate majority leader, was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in the Pacific theater during WWII.