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New Navy Oiler to Be Named in Honor of Harriet Tubman

The Navy will name the ninth John Lewis-class oiler after American abolitionist and social activist Harriet Tubman.


Tubman’s great-great-great grandniece Tina Wyatt is the ship’s sponsor, meaning she will establish an enduring relationship with the crew and ship.

“Harriet Ross Tubman is a symbol of faith, freedom, family, democracy and love. Aunt Harriet’s legacy is an inspiration to a higher calling within us all, and overall, how we are enabled by sharing love for others and self,” Wyatt said, according to a Navy news release.

“Such a strong and dazzling example of symbolism in her honor, the naming of an oiler, a ship that supplies other ships with fuel and cargo to function at its highest level, is an example of what she gave in life and continues to give,” Wyatt said.

The oiler is the second U.S. Navy ship named after Tubman, the first being a Liberty ship from World War II. All John Lewis-class oilers are named after American civil rights leaders, in honor of Rep. John Lewis from Georgia.