NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The U.S. Navy's newest nuclear aircraft carrier, the Doris Miller (CVN 81), will celebrate one of its first construction milestones Wednesday.
Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division will host a small, ceremonial first-cut-of-steel event, officially marking the start of the Miller's advance construction. The ceremony will consist of a shipyard employee cutting a large piece of steel.
The Miller, set to be completed in 2032, is the second ship named after Doris Miller and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American.
According to the Navy, it's also the first aircraft carrier to be named in honor of a sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks. During the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Miller, a mess attendant, manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returned fire against Japanese planes.
He died while serving on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in November 1943.