Roy Wheat Remembered

By  | 

The U.S. Navy has christened a cargo ship in honor of Marine Lance Corporal Roy M. Wheat, who won the Medal of Honor for giving up his life to save his comrades 36 years ago in Vietnam.

Wheat was 20 in 1967 when he dived on an exploding mine in a jungle in Quang Nam Province, saving his fellow Marines from injury.

His sacrifice was recognized during a ceremony at Blount Island Command in Jacksonville, Fla.

Wheat, from Moselle, Miss., was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for combat valor.

The USNS LCpl. Roy M. Wheat will be crewed by civilian merchant mariners. The 864-foot long ship carries a Navy fleet hospital, an expeditionary airfield, a naval construction battalion, ammunition and other supplies that can quickly be delivered to forces where needed.

The ship, a Ukrainian-built former Soviet auxiliary ship, was purchased by the Navy six years ago. The Wheat will be assigned to the Mediterranean.