Bill Russell is not going to like this.
A spokeswoman for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said he is sticking with his decision to name a warship for the Democrat from Johnstown. Mr. Murtha, a retired Marine Reserves colonel and powerful former chairman of a House defense appropriations panel, died in February 2010 at age 77.
"The secretary believes that the naming . . . honors Congressman Murtha's lifetime of service to the Marine Corps, in Congress and to our nation," Capt. Beci Brenton said in an e-mail. "The secretary does not intend to change the name."
The USS John P. Murtha will be an amphibious transport vessel able to carry 700 Marines, their equipment and supplies. Construction on the ship has not yet begun, said Brenton.