US Navy Warship Hosts Churchill Family During Five-day Port Call
The USS Winston S. Churchill DDG 81 visited the home of the Royal Navy last month providing the opportunity for the officers and crew of the US Navy warship to become acquainted with the family and homeland of the man for whom their vessel is named. By tradition the navigation officer on the guided-missile destroyer is always a British naval officer. Lieutenant Lynsey Sewell RN brought the ship safely to port and was interviewed afterwards by Forces TV. To watch the video, please CLICK HERE.
After the visit, Commanding Officer Christine O’Connell sent a letter to The Churchill Centre’s Executive Director, Lee Pollock, describing the experience:
USS Winston Churchill‘s visit to Portsmouth was extraordinary! Thank you and The Churchill Centre for making our stay warm, exciting, and special. We are most proud that we were able to revitalize our relationship with Great Britain and the extended Churchill family. Hosting the family onboard was the highlight of our visit. A special treat was being able to cut the ceremonial cake with young William Brounger and John Churchill with an officer’s sword during the reception. Earlier in the week, our wardroom dined with 2nd Lt Arthur Soames’ regiment, the Household Cavalry. And, on our final evening in port, the Executive Officer and I celebrated the end of the visit with the Second Sea Lord and ate in Nelson’s Flag Mess onboard HMS Victory! The tours provided at Chartwell, the Churchill War Rooms and the Churchill Archives Centre were equally amazing. I cannot thank Katherine Barnett, Phil Reed, and Allen Packwood enough for their time and the access they provided. I’d be remiss if I did not mention our tour guide at Chartwell, Mr. Guy Huntrods—he is a national treasure. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit Blenheim and could not arrange pulling alongside HMS Belfast (we vigorously pursued this idea, but our draft is too deep). Thanks again for putting us in touch and I look forward to future engagements with your organization, the Churchill family, and supporters.
CDR Christine O’Connell
USS WINSTON S CHURCHILL (DDG 81)