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New submarine's official commissioning ceremony will take place on May 28, at naval base

COURTESY PHOTO: VFW POST 1324  - On Jan. 19, Oregon City commissioners Rocky Smith (from left), Frank O'Donnell and Denyse McGriff join USS Oregon sponsor Dana Richardson, State Rep. Mark Meek, retired Admiral in Charge of Navy Operations John Richardson and Post Commander Greg Arnold.On Jan. 19, USS Oregon sponsor and Oregon native Dana L. Richardson visited Oregon City to thank citizens for their support of the U.S. Navy's new fast-attack submarine crew.COURTESY PHOTO; VFW POST 1324 - During its christening on Oct. 5, 2019, water from Crater Lake was poured on the hull of the USS Oregon before it was launched.COURTESY PHOTO: VFW POST 1324  - On a Jan. 19 visit to Oregon City, USS Oregon sponsor Dana Richardson signs a flag designed by the crew in honor of the U.S. Navy submarine. After being signed by crew members commissioning the sub in May, the flag will come back to VFW Post 1324.

USS Oregon is the first to bear that name since an iconic battleship nicknamed "McKinley's Bulldog" from 125 years ago.

U.S. Navy ship sponsors traditionally are female civilians who bestow good luck and divine protection over seagoing vessels and all who sail aboard. Richardson is considered to be a permanent member of the ship's crew, and she visited Veterans of Foreign Wars Three Rivers Post 1324 with her sister, Oregon resident and Matron of Honor Tanya Silva, and with her husband, retired Admiral in Charge of Navy Operations John Richardson.COURTESY PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA/CACOPHONY - The mast of the battleship Oregon as it appears today in Waterfront Park.COURTESY PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA/CURTIS - The battleship USS Oregon as it appeared in 1919 while serving as the flagship for President Woodrow Wilson's review of the Pacific Fleet.

Richardson visited the Veterans of Foreign Wars post serving Oregon City, West Linn, Gladstone, Clackamas, Happy Valley, Redland and Beavercreek to thank the VFW for its $10,000 donation to the USS Oregon Commissioning Committee, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization through the Portland council of the Navy League of the U.S. In July, the VFW donated toward the associated ceremonies to give the members of the crew of the USS Oregon traditional events going back to the Greeks. U.S. Navy funds only pay for the commissioning ceremony itself, which is scheduled this May. Post 1324 in Oregon City has three members who also serve on the Commissioning Committee. COURTESY PHOTO: DAVE VROOMAN - A Clackamas County Veterans of Foreign Wars post donates $10,000 to the committee for commissioning USS Oregon, a new U.S. Navy submarine. COURTESY PHOTO: U.S. NAVY - The USS Oregon as it was rolled out of General Dynamics Electric Boat.

During the Jan. 19 event, VFW members and regional elected officials had the opportunity to meet the Richardsons and ask them questions. Post 1324 gave the USS Oregon sponsor a large 1324 patch, and Admiral Richardson received a polo shirt with the post seal on it.

In attendance were State Rep. Mark Meek, Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith, Post 1324 Commander Greg Arnold, Oregon VFW Commander Dennis Pratt, VFW District 15/Molalla Post Commander John Dobbs, Blueback Base Commander Randy Weston, and Oregon City Commissioners Denyse McGriff, Frank O'Donnell and Rocky Smith.

USS Oregon's official commissioning ceremony will take place on May 28, at the naval submarine base in Groton, Connecticut. Invitations to attend will be posted at

For information on how to support the commissioning of the USS Oregon or to purchase memorabilia, visit the

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