New Coast Guard ship named for Iowa woman’s late uncle, killed in WWII

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Rollin Fritch service photo (Coast Guard News)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City woman is the sponsor of a new U.S. Coast Guard ship named for her late uncle, who was killed in 1945 defending his ship from attack.

As the new ship’s sponsor, Donna Fuller was tapped Saturday to give a short speech prior to the commissioning of the USCGC Rollin Fritch, 154-foot fast response cutter, at Cape May, New Jersey, the Sioux City Journal reports.

On Jan. 8, 1945, Rollin Fritch was on board the USS Callaway off the Philippine coast when it was attacked by Japanese kamikaze pilots. Fritch stayed at his gun, firing at airplanes in an effort to save his shipmates when a kamikaze crashed into his position, killing him at age 24. Fritch was posthumously awarded a Silver Star.