Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro announced that a future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock will be named USS Philadelphia (LPD 32) at Independence Hall, during Philadelphia Navy and Marine Corps Week, Oct. 12.

The future USS Philadelphia honors the city and citizens of Philadelphia for their extensive maritime legacy. The name selection follows the tradition of naming amphibious transport docks after U.S. cities and cities honoring pioneers.   


“I cannot think of a city with a richer maritime history than Philadelphia. It is the birthplace of American Democracy, as well as the birthplace of both the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. Philadelphia is undoubtedly a ‘Navy Town,’ said Secretary Del Toro. “I am pleased to bring in the tie of the birthplace of the Marine Corps to this great ship, one that will carry Marines worldwide.”


Along with the ship’s name, Secretary Del Toro also announced that the ship’s sponsor will be Maureen Paparo, spouse of Adm. Samuel Paparo, the 64th Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Maureen Paparo was born and raised in Philadelphia, grew up in the Oxford Circle neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia, attended St. Martin of Tours Catholic School and Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, and graduated from Villanova University.  


“I have tremendous gratitude to Secretary of the Navy Del Toro to be appointed sponsor of USS Philadelphia named after our beloved hometown,” said Maureen Paparo. “May the spirit of our great city uplift the Sailors and Marines who sail in her with Honor, Courage and Commitment. Anchored by the unwavering values enshrined in Philadelphia, we sail into the future with hope and unblinking resolve.”


This is the seventh vessel to bear the name of Philadelphia. The first Philadelphia, a Continental Navy gunboat, was launched in August 1776 and placed in service shortly thereafter on Lake Champlain. It sank during a six-hour clash with a Royal Navy squadron during the Battle of Valcour Island on Oct. 11, 1776. The second was a 28-gun frigate (1800–1804) constructed for the Navy by the citizens of Philadelphia. Serving in the Mediterranean Sea during the First Barbary War, it ran aground off Tripoli in October 1803. Captured and refloated by the Tripolitans, it was set ablaze and adrift during a daring attack led by then-Lieutenant Stephen Decatur on Feb. 16, 1804. The third Philadelphia was a side-wheel iron-hulled merchant steamer (1861–1865) that was seized by the Federal Government at the outbreak of the Civil War. It participated in the campaigns in eastern North Carolina in 1862.  The fourth Philadelphia (Cruiser No. 4) (1890–1902) was active during the Second Samoan Civil War in 1899. The fifth Philadelphia (CL 41) (1937–1947) was a Brooklyn­-Class light cruiser that supported Allied operations in North Africa and Italy. The sixth Philadelphia (SSN 690) (1977–2011) was a Los Angeles-Class attack submarine that was later fitted to provide Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle mother ship support. 

The city was home to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (1801–1995), which constructed numerous Navy vessels including the second Wisconsin (BB 64).  

In 2021, the Navy has issued a $1.295 billion contract modification to HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding for the detail design and construction of LPD-32, then, the last San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock under the service’s current budget plans. 

Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions. LPDs 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.