NUWC Division Newport, Senator Reed to honor NUWC’s fallen

In recognition of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed will join employees at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Newport to honor the 32 men who died in service to their country while working at NUWC’s predecessor organizations, the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport; the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station, and the Naval Underwater Weapons Research and Engineering Station. The ceremony will take place Friday, May 25 at 11:30 a.m.

During the brief morning ceremony, Reed and Capt. Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport’s commanding officer, will place a memorial wreath at a monument inscribed with the names of each employee lost in accidents from 1874 through the late 1960s.

Most of those killed were involved in four incidents. A gun cotton fire at the Naval Torpedo Station claimed three lives in 1893. During World War I, 15 men died in two separate explosions in 1918, the first claiming 13 men and the second two. Five men died as a result of a propellant explosion in 1955 at the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station. Others died in individual accidents including a plane crash.

The monument was originally erected in 1930 at Government Landing in downtown Newport under the auspices of the Newport Metal Trades Council. In 1966, the memorial was relocated to its current location near the flag pole at what is now NUWC Newport.

Media interested in attending the event should contact John Woodhouse at 401-832-4256 or not later than Friday, May 25 at 9 a.m.

NUWC Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station that was established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, N.Y. and Dodge Pond, Conn.