Confederate-related names on army landing craft and civil engineering projects cited in new report

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Soldiers prepare the USAV Aldie, a landing craft, in Grenada for a training exercise in 2016. The Aldie and four other Army landing craft were identified by a commission to have their names cleared references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (Heidi McClintock/111th Public Affairs Detachment)

WASHINGTON — The names of five Army landing craft should be removed from references to the Confederacy while four civil engineering projects named after Confederate fighters should be considered by Congress, according to a report submitted to lawmakers on Monday. .

The third and final report produced by the Naming Commission, a group convened by Congress to rename Confederate-affiliated elements within the Department of Defense, lists more than 1,100 assets flagged for modification or deletion and singles out several more in detail.

Among them are five utility landing craft used to ferry troops and supplies ashore, including USAV Mechanicsville, USAV Chickahominy, USAV Malvern Hill, USAV Harpers Ferry, and USAV Aldie.

Members of the eight-person commission initially identified nine landing craft with names that might be affiliated with the Confederacy, but ultimately determined that five boats were clearly linked to it, according to the report. The army has 32 active landing craft.

Mechanicsville is the Confederate name given to the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek in Virginia, Chickahominy refers to a Confederate victory that stifled the Union advance, Malvern Hill commemorates a battle that contributed to the success of the Confederate campaign, Harpers Ferry honors the Confederate capture of the strategically vital city of West Virginia, and Aldie is named after a battle that saw the Confederate army advance into Pennsylvania.

Harpers Ferry, Malvern Hill and Mechanicsville are based at Yokohama North Dock in Japan. Chickahominy and Aldie are stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.

Crew members of the USAV Chickahominy, a landing craft, set up the gangway after docking at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2011. The Chickahominy and four other landing craft from the military were identified by a commission to have their names expunged from references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress on Monday, September 19, 2022.

Crew members of the USAV Chickahominy, a landing craft, set up the gangway after docking at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2011. The Chickahominy and four other landing craft from the military were identified by a commission to have their names removed from references to the Confederacy, according to a report submitted to Congress Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (David P. Coleman/Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs)

The commission’s previous reports recommended renaming nine Army bases with Confederate-related names and investigated assets with similar histories at the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Academy.

In its final report, the commission called for the renaming of the USS Chancellorsville and USNS Maury and the Air Force’s Fort Fisher Recreation Area in North Carolina, as well as the counting at its base of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The commission also reviewed several U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works, finding four assets with Confederate names that are owned or controlled by the Department of Defense. The Corps is an army engineer formation.

Assets cited are Stonewall Jackson Lake and Dam in West Virginia, named after one of the best-known Confederate generals, Buford Dam and Lake Sidney Lanier, named after politician Algernon Sidney Buford who served in the Virginia Militia and of the poet Sidney Lanier who served in the Confederate army and Port Allen Lock in Louisiana, named in honor of Henry Watkins Allen, a Confederate brigadier general.

The commissioners included civil works in their review of military assets, but declined to offer naming recommendations for them because of their overlap in ownership and management with individual states, the report said. The committee instead defers a decision on their names to Congress.

The report provides a long list of commission-approved names that could be used for renaming. The commission collected over 34,000 name suggestions and comments from the public, resulting in over 3,600 unique names.

The Secretary of Defense is required to implement a plan to rename, change, or remove Confederate-related names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia by January 1, 2024. The cost of the work has been estimated at $62 .5 million dollars.

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