Pennsylvania

Navy commissions ship in honor of late longtime congressman

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, U. S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., smiles as he addresses supporters after his reelection at his headquarters in Johnstown, Pa. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, U. S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., smiles as he addresses supporters after his reelection at his headquarters in Johnstown, Pa. The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran. Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)  (The Associated Press)

The U.S. Navy is commissioning the USS John P. Murtha, a new ship named in honor of the late longtime Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Marine Corps veteran.

Thousands are expected to honor Murtha on Saturday at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia during a ceremony to place the ship into active service.

Murtha, a Democrat, served as a U.S. Marines Corps Reserve officer and later as a member of the Pennsylvania House. He was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress and became the longest-serving congressman in Pennsylvania history shortly before his death in 2010.

The two-time Purple Heart recipient earned a number of other accolades for his service, including the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Ships like the USS John P. Murtha support military and humanitarian missions.