About Captain Richard Miles McCool, USN, (1922-2008)
Lieutenant Junior Grade Richard M. McCool, Jr., USN.

The U.S. Navy has approved the commissioning date for the future USS Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD 29).
The Navy will commission Richard M. McCool Jr., an amphibious transport dock, September 7, 2024 at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida.
The naming of LPD 29 honors U.S. Navy Capt. Richard M. McCool Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 for the heroism he displayed after his ship was attacked by kamikaze aircraft in the Battle of Okinawa. Despite suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, he led efforts to battle a blazing fire on his ship and rescue injured sailors. LPD 29 will be the first of its name.
Richard M. McCool Jr. is co-sponsored by Shana McCool and Kate Oja, granddaughters of the ship’s namesake. As the co-sponsors, McCool and Oja lead the time-honored Navy tradition of giving the order during the ceremony to “man our ship and bring her to life!” At the moment, the commissioning pennant is hoisted and Richard M. McCool Jr. becomes a proud ship of the fleet.
Richard M. McCool Jr. will be the Navy’s 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.
Amphibious transport docks are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment, and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV 22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions and serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious operations.

About Captain Richard Miles McCool, USN, (1922-2008)

Richard Miles McCool Jr. was born on 4 January 1922 in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Appointed from Oklahoma to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated an ensign in June 1944, and was assigned to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. In December, following training at the U.S. Naval Amphibious Training Station, Solomons, Maryland, he assumed command of USS LSC 122 and was promoted to lieutenant in January 1945. On 10 June, while operating off the Ryukyu Chain, Japan, he led his vessel to rescue survivors of USS William D. Porter after a Japanese kamikaze bomb exploded underneath the destroyer. The next evening, 11 June, two Japanese suicide squadron attacked McCool’s ship. Organizing a counterattack, McCool’s crew downed one of the kamikaze planes and damaged the second before it crashed into LSC 122’s conning tower, engulfing it in flames. Wounded and suffering severe burns, McCool led his men until aid arrived from other ships and he was evacuated due to his injuries. For his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” on this occasion, McCool was awarded the Medal of Honor.
In January 1946, McCool was reverted back to lieutenant junior grade. In July, he assumed command of USS LSC 44, then transferred to the destroyer USS McKean (DD-784). In July 1947, he became the aide to commandant, Eighth Naval District, at New Orleans, Louisiana. After instructor duty at the University of Oklahoma with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in June 1949, he received orders to USS Frank Knox (DD-742), later transferring to USS Leyte (CV-32). In January 1951, McCool was promoted to lieutenant. Completing Armed Forces Information School at Fort Slocum, New York, in June, he received orders to Commander Naval Base, Long Beach, California, and served as the public information officer. A year later, he returned for duty at the Eighth Naval District. In July 1954, he attended Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned a master’s degree. In June 1955, McCool was promoted to lieutenant commander and assigned to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. The following year, he reported overseas as a staff member of Commander, South Eastern Asia Treaty Organization, Bangkok, Thailand. In December 1958, he was assigned staff duty with commandant of the Ninth Naval District at Great Lakes, Illinois, where he was promoted to commander in July 1960. In April 1961, he served on the staff of Commander, First Fleet and transferred three years later for duty with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan. When he returned to the U.S., he continued staff duty with Commander, Seventh Fleet. In July 1965, McCool was promoted to captain. In April 1966, he became deputy commander of the Defense Information School at Fort Benjamin, Harrison, Indiana. Following his service in various public affairs posts, he retired from active duty in 1974 and became active in local politics in the Bremerton, Washington, area. Richard M. McCool died on 5 March 2008 and is buried at Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland.