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Naval Station Mayport Hosts Series Of Homecomings

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) patrols the Atlantic waters in July 2020.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Louis Staats
U.S. Navy Via Defense Visual Information Distribution Service
USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) patrols the Atlantic waters in July 2020.

Naval Station Mayport is welcoming its latest arrival on Monday.

The USS Winston S. Churchill's arrival marks the first time its crew is calling Mayport home.

The USS Winston S. Churchill has approximately 330 sailors aboard and is being relocated to Mayport after previously being stationed at Norfolk, Va. The ship is the first destroyer and fourth Navy warship to be named after a British citizen.

It’s been a busy time at Mayport's naval station as three ships have arrived home in three days. The USS Thomas Hudner returned home Saturday after being deployed for six months in support of operations in 5th and 6th Fleets, and on Sunday the USS Donald Cook arrived.

Like the USS Winston S. Churchill, NS Mayport is serving as the USS Donald Cook’s new homeport.

The USS Donald Cook previously spent seven years supporting 5th Fleet operations as a Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) unit out of Rota, Spain.

“It has been a bittersweet departure from Rota,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Jory Fetterolf in an email sent to WJCT News. “My time in Spain has been an amazing opportunity to experience a different culture and afforded me the opportunity to travel to places I would’ve never seen if I wasn’t stationed here. However, I’m excited to return to the Unites States to be closer to family.”

The USS Donald Cook has a crew of approximately 340 and is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile as is the  USS Thomas Hudner. The Hudner returned home following a six month deployment in suppport of operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.  

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.