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      New USS Missouri sub, WWII vets honored

      The USS Missouri, being built in Connecticut.

      World War Two vets and dozens of Missouri sailors gathered for a barbeque Friday evening to celebrate a new submarine that will be commissioned next year.

      The USS Missouri is the seventh ship of the Virginia class nuclear attack submarines. It will be the fifth to have the name USS Missouri.

      The ship's currently being built in Groton, Conn. and should be commissioned next summer.

      It will have a crew of 136, including some, like FT2 Ryan Thruston, from mid-Missouri.

      "I'm really proud that I'm a native of Missouri, I grew up here in Jefferson City" said Thruston. "Being what they call a 'plank owner' - the initial crew - has been a great honor."

      The ship's sponsor is the wife of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

      There is a full day of events planned in Jefferson City Saturday, culminating in a black-tie ball to honor the new submarine, raise money and honor World War Two vets.

      The Civilian Commission Committee wants to raise $300,000 for the commissioning celebration, for gifts for the crew and for Missouri memorabilia to place on board.