"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, 'I served in the United States Navy.’” –President Kennedy, August 1963

John F. Kennedy joined the US Navy in 1941 as the United States entered World War II. He was made Lieutenant (Lt.) and assigned to the South Pacific as commander of a patrol torpedo boat, the PT 109. When his boat collided with a Japanese destroyer, the crew’s six-day struggle for survival and eventual rescue earned Lt. Kennedy the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his courage and leadership.

After President Kennedy’s death, in May 1967, Jacqueline, Caroline and John Jr. christened the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy. After nearly 40 years of service in the United States Navy, Kennedy was officially decommissioned on 1 August 2007. She is berthed at the NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

At an official naming ceremony at the JFK Library on Sunday May 29th, 2011, the US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the nuclear powered aircraft carrier, CVN79, would be called the USS John F. Kennedy. The announcement was made on what would have been the 94th birthday of John F. Kennedy. Attending the ceremony were Caroline Kennedy, her husband Ed Schlossberg, and President Kennedy’s grandchildren Rose, Tatiana, and Jack Schlossberg, who all helped unveil the model.

CVN-79 is slated to be placed in commission in FY2020.

Celebrate President Kennedy's Birthday

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The public was invited to join Caroline Kennedy and the Honorable Ray Mabus, United States Secretary of the Navy, for a very special celebration of President John F. Kennedy's birthday and presentation of the model USS John F. Kennedy.