GAETA, Italy – The U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) held a memorial ceremony in honor of U.S. Navy Chaplain Lt. Vincent Capodanno at Piazza di Capodanno, Sept. 4.
The ceremony was held on the 45th anniversary of Lt. Capodanno’s death; he was killed in combat during Operation Swift on Sept. 4, 1967 and was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless sacrifice.
Lt. Capodanno’s family heritage tied both the Sailors of Mount Whitney and the local community together.
“While Capodanno was born in the U.S., his parents were from Gaeta and he is considered ‘The Son of Gaeta,’” said Lt. Doug Orr, Mount Whitney’s chaplain.
During the ceremony, Cosmo Mitrano, mayor of Gaeta, and Capt. Ted Williams, commanding officer of Mount Whitney, participated in the wreath laying portion of the ceremony to honor Capodanno’s sacrifice.
“The purpose of today’s event was to honor and celebrate the life of this American hero and to never forget his valor, courage and sacrifice,” said Capt. Williams. “It helps our Sailors and civilians realize the importance of American heroes and understand that the boundaries of their sacrifice extend beyond the borders of our nation.”
Mount Whitney is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley service operations while military personnel aboard support communications, weapons systems and security.