If you’re walking on the riverfront this weekend you may very well see the USS Wichita, the Navy’s newest Freedom-Class Littoral Combat Ship. It’s docked behind the Port of Detroit Authority,130 East Atwater St.
The USS Wichita is the third US Navy ship to bear that city’s name and is a sister ship to the USS Detroit.
The 378-foot highly maneuverable lightweight combatant features a steel monohull with a draft of only 13 feet allowing access to more ports and locations than other ship designs.
The first USS Wichita (CA-45) was a heavy cruiser commissioned Feb. 16, 1939, and decommissioned in 1947. The ship was awarded 13 battle stars for service during World War II.
In 1968, AOR-1, a replenishment oiler, became Wichita’s second namesake ship. That vessel served 24 years and earned four battle stars in Vietnam.
There are no tours, but it is a great photo op. You will certainly see some of the sailors in and around downtown eateries.
The ship is scheduled to leave Detroit sometime during the weekend.