USCG Cutter Kimball
Is Christened!

Dateline: 5 March 2017

"In the name of the United States of America, I christen thee Kimball. May God bless this ship and all who sail on it."

—Kay Webber Cochran
Ingalls Shipyard, Pascagoula, MS
4 March 2017

It's not every day that the United States names a half-a-billion-dollar ship after you. But yesterday was such a day for me and my family. I wrote about cousin Sumner Increase Kimball and my connection to him back in May of 2014 (Click Here). It turns out that Sumner founded the Coast Guard. Here's a picture of the man himself...

Sumner Increase Kimball
And here's a picture of his new ship...

(click the picture for a much grander view)

Were I not such a homebody, I would have attended the christening. There were a few Kimballs there, as you can see in this next picture from yesterday (supplied by my cousin, Jackie Tucker, on the left)...

Unfortunately, I don't actually know any of my kin in that picture. The exception being the man on the right who is my half-brother, Christopher. We met once, some years ago at a family reunion. 

Christopher is a Navy veteran who just happens to work at the Ingalls shipyard where Kimball was built. That's how we all found out about the ship, and cousin Sumner. It's funny how these things happen.

I don't know if Sumner had any more-direct descendants than my branch of the family tree, being cousins removed four or five times. I hope somebody checked on that.

Whatever the case, I'm pleased to know all about this, and to have vicariously attended the ceremony through my cousin, Jackie's, Facebook pictures....

Admiral Paul Zukunft
25th Commandant, US Coast Guard

A couple more things... 

This new national security cutter is actually the third ship to be named after cousin Sumner. The other two are now out of commission. If I remember correctly, one was sunk in WW2.

Kimball was christened yesterday, but it was launched last December. I always thought that when a ship was launched, it was released down a ramp and slid backwards into the water. I guess that was the way in the old days, when ships were smaller (and cheaper to build). Nowadays, it's a more careful and less dramatic process. You can see Kimball's launch At This Link.


  1. Herrick, thanks so much for this posting and especially for the link to the video. I had, like you, always thought the ship was launched stern end first and so I was fascinated to see just exactly what was involved in getting it from manufacture to dry dock to launch. Amazing.

  2. Hey Herrick, That is quite a unique honor to have in your family!! Not to many of us with those chops!! Congratulations!

    My little town was lucky enough to have two Escort Carriers USS Block Island CVE** and CVE**. Dumb old me cannot remember the numbers right now. The first one is on the bottom of the sea somewhere in the Coral Sea. Sunk by Submarine attack. Second one just died of old age and attrition!

  3. Wow - very impressive. You come from good stock.