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Navy Receives Cargo Ship, USNS Medgar Evers

The vessel, honoring the slain civil rights leader whose murder took 30 years to successfully prosecute, took two years to build.

Local shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO announced a cargo ship named after slain Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers was delivered to the Navy Tuesday.

The USNS Medger Evers is the 13th in the T-AKE class of cargo ships and can carry more than 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to resupply vessels at sea, according to the contractor. Construction began two years ago.

“As demonstrated on our successful sea trials three weeks ago, the Medgar Evers is ready for immediate service,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The 12 deployed T-AKE ships are performing and proving their ability to serve the fleet in their primary missions and in a variety of other roles.”

Evers, an Army veteran, fought for desegregation of the University of Mississippi and founded NAACP chapters across the state. He was fatally shot on June 12, 1963 and buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Byron De La Beckwith was fconvicted of his murder in 1994 based on new evidence, after white juries in two trials 30 years earlier were unable to render an unanimous verdict.

The 14th and final ship in the class, named after union activist Cesar Chavez, will be christened and launched May 5.

 

– City News Service

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