The U.S. Navy’s next Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 30) will be named as USS Canberra, Donald Trump, the President of the US, announced.
Trump made the announcement Friday as he opened a White House news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after a day of meetings. The President said that a U.S. combat ship will be named in honor of an Australian cruiser that was lost fighting alongside the U.S. Navy in World War II.
Trump said that Australia’s defense minister will sponsor the ship and that the ship will be a worthy successor to both her Australian namesake and her American predecessor. He added that the ship will symbolize the enduring friendship between the two countries, adding that “there is no closer friendship.”
LCS 30 will be the second U.S. Navy ship to be named USS Canberra. The first one was USS Canberra (CA-70/CAG-2), a Baltimore-class cruiser and later a Boston-class guided missile cruiser.
Originally to be named USS Pittsburgh, the ship was renamed before launch to honor the loss of the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra during the Battle of Savo Island. USS Canberra was the only USN warship named for a foreign warship or a foreign capital city.
HMAS Canberra (I33/D33)
HMAS Canberra (I33/D33), named after the Australian capital city of Canberra, was a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) heavy cruiser of the Kent sub-class of County-class cruisers.
Constructed in Scotland during the mid-1920s, the ship was commissioned in 1928, and spent the first part of her career primarily operating in Australian waters, with some deployments to the China Station.
At the start of World War II, Canberra was initially used for patrols and convoy escort around Australia. In July 1940, she was reassigned as a convoy escort between Western Australia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. During this deployment, which ended in mid-1941, Canberra was involved in the hunt for several German auxiliary cruisers. The cruiser resumed operations in Australian waters, but when Japan entered the war, she was quickly reassigned to convoy duties around New Guinea, interspersed with operations in Malaysian and Javanese waters. Canberra later joined Task Force 44, and was involved in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Tulagi landings.
On 9 August 1942, Canberra was struck by the opening Japanese shots of the Battle of Savo Island, and was quickly damaged. Unable to propel herself, the cruiser was evacuated and sunk in Ironbottom Sound by two American destroyers.