news

Construction of US Navy oiler named after gay activist Harvey Milk has begun

The US Navy announced they would name the oiler after the activist back in 2016

2019-12-16

Words: Steve Brown

Construction of the USNS Harvey Milk has begun.

Back in 2016, the US Navy announced they were going to name a group of oilers after civil rights leaders including Harvey Milk, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, women's right activists Lucy Stone and Sojourner Truth.

LGBTQ activists from San Diego and San Francisco called for the navy to honour Milk and other LGBT people who served in the armed forces.

Milk, who came from a navy family, signed up in 1951 and served as a diving office in San Diego during the Korean War until 1955 when he was honourably discharged from the service as a lieutenant junior grade after superiors caught him in a park that was popular with gay men.

At the time, LGBTQ people were unable to serve in the armed forces and Milk was forced to resign.

Milk later become the first openly gay man to be elected into public office in California and kept the position for 11 months until he was assassinated by Dan White on November 27, 1978.

Now the Independent report that the Navy has begun to construct the USNS Harvey Milk last week and the fleet oiler will provide fuel to ships and aircrafts.

Milk's life was immortalised in the Academy Award winning film Milk - which Dustin Lance Black won Best Screenplay during the 2009 films awards.'