Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A future U.S. Navy submarine will be named the USS Barb after a celebrated World War II sub that sank 17 enemy vessels, the Secretary of the Navy announced.
Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said on Tuesday that the next guided-missile destroyer will be named to honor John F. Lehman, Navy Secretary in President Ronald Reagan's administration.
Braithwaite spoke at the Washington Navy Yard to announce plans for a new U.S. Navy Museum.
The first USS Barb, designated SS-220, was deployed in 1943 to the Pacific Fleet during World War II, and "sank 17 enemy vessels, including an aircraft carrier, and even landed troops to blow up a train on the Imperial Japanese Homeland," Braithwaite said.
"She was honored with both a Presidential Unit Citation and a Congressional Medal of Honor for her Commanding Officer Eugene B. Fluckey," he added.
The submarine is regarded, by Japanese war records, as the submarine that sank the most ships, by tonnage. Another submarine with the same name was commissioned in 1963 and served as a Tomahawk missile test platform in the 1970s.
Lehman, as Navy Secretary, advocated a 500-ship navy and pursued a maritime strategy signaling strength and superiority to the Soviet Union and China, Braithwaite said.
"Those two namesakes carry a great legacy that will be continued when these warships take to the fleet," he said of the chosen names.
The future USS Barb is a Virginia-class attack submarine currently designated SSN-804, and the future USS Robert F. Lehman, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, is designated DDG-137.