The 38th president’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, declared the keel “truly and fairly laid” at an authentication ceremony attended by congressmen, dignitaries and shipworkers at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s shipyard.
Bales, the ship’s sponsor, on Friday added her initials in chalk on a metal plate, which was welded to the 900-ton keel — the building block upon which the carrier will rise.
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and ship's sponsor of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), writes her initials onto a metal plate during the keel laying and authentication ceremony. Gerald R. Ford is the newest class of aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)
Robert Bowker welds the initials of Susan Ford Bales into the keel of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during a keel laying and authentication ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News. Gerald R. Ford is the newest class of aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)
Ford served aboard USS Monterey (CVL-26) during World War 2 and was nearly washed overboard during Typhoon Cobra. As I wrote in that post, Murdoc doesn’t really believe that ‘Ford’ is a good choice for the name of an aircraft carrier, particularly a lead ship. But I guess it could have been worse.