USS New York the fifth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is the fifth ship of the United States Navy to be named after the state of New York. New York has a crew of 360 and can carry up to 700 Marines. It is notable for using a symbolic amount of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center after it was destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
The ship is the first to be designed fully from the CAD-screen up to support all of the Marines’ primary mobility capabilities—Landing Craft Air Cushion and MV-22B Osprey.
Shortly after 11 September 2001, Governor of New York George E. Pataki wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England requesting that the navy bestow the name “New York” on a surface warship involved in the War on Terrorism in honor of the victims of the September 11 attacks.
The contract to build New York was awarded to Northrop Grumman Ship Systems ofNew Orleans, Louisiana, in 2003. New York was under construction in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
7.5 short tons (6.8 t) of the steel used in the ship’s construction came from the rubble of the World Trade Center; this represents less than one thousandth of the total weight of the ship. The steel was melted down at Amite Foundry and Machine in Amite, Louisiana, to cast the ship’s bow section. It was poured into the molds on 9 September 2003, with 7 short tons (6.4 t) cast to form the ship’s “stem bar”—part of the ship’s bow. The shipyard workers reportedly treated it with “reverence usually accorded to religious relics”, gently touching it as they walked by. One worker delayed his retirement after 40 years of working to be part of the project.
On 9 September 2004 Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England announced that two of New York ’s sister ships will be named Arlington and Somerset in commemoration of the places where two of the other planes used in the attack came down:Arlington County, Virginia, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
New York was christened on 1 March 2008, in a ceremony at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. Dotty England, the ship’s sponsor, smashed the traditional champagne bottle on the ship’s bow and christened the ship New York. Several dignitaries were in attendance, including Louisiana Congressman William J. Jefferson, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, members of the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department, and family members of 11 September victims. The champagne bottle did not break the first time it was struck against the hull of the ship, but the second attempt was successful.
The ship was delivered to the navy on 21 August 2009 at New Orleans. The ship’s delivery was accepted by its first commanding officer, Commander F. Curtis Jones, USN, a native of Binghamton, New York. She set sail for Norfolk, Virginia, on 13 October 2009. On 2 November 2009 the ship passed the World Trade Center site for the first time and gave the site a 21-gun salute.