LOS ANGELES COUNTY — The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to send a five-signature letter to the Department of Defense, the Secretary of the United States Navy, U.S. Senators Feinstein and Boxer as well as the California Congressional Delegation, urging them to name a ship of the United States Navy in honor of the late Rear Admiral and U.S. Senator Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr.
Admiral Denton was a Navy aviator who was shot down during a bombing mission in 1965, and held as prisoner of war in Vietnam for nearly eight years. He was part of a group of 11 prisoners known as the “Alcatraz 11” who endured brutal treatment at the Vietnamese Hoa Lo prison, known as the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”
After the war, Admiral Denton was elected to the United States Senate from Alabama and his accomplishments included the Denton Program, which permits the U.S. military to transport privately donated humanitarian aid to destinations worldwide.
Admiral Denton passed away on March 28, 2014. Since then, the surviving members of the “Alcatraz 11” have initiated a call for a U.S. Navy ship to be named in honor of Admiral Denton as was done to honor their other leader, Medal of Honor recipient Admiral James B. Stockdale. Last month at their National Convention, the American Legion passed a resolution in strong support of such an action.