USS Dwight D. Eisenhower — Three French Cops and a Unexpected Baby

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is big. Like other Nimitz class carriers, it is over 1000′ long on the waterline, wit a beam of 244′ and is powered by nuclear steam plant which develops a quarter of a million horsepower. It has a crew of 3,200 with an additional air wing of 2,480. Recently, although briefly, it added a few additional temporary crew.

Three French police officers had been working security for the aircraft carrier during her port call in Marseilles, France in late December. They stepped aboard for a last minute tour and found themselves departing with the ship. The three officers, who did not speak English, were treated to a ride back to port in a harbor tug. Reportedly their supervisors were not pleased.

In September, while the underway in the Arabian Gulf, the carrier had an unexpected arrival when a third class petty officer from Carrier Air Wing 3 checked into the carrier’s medical clinic complaining of stomach pains. Nine hours later, she gave birth to a healthy 7-pound baby girl. Formula, diapers and an incubator for the baby’s evacuation were flown to the ship, Cmdr. Bill Urban, 5th Fleet spokesman, told Stars and Stripes. Neither the mother nor her command knew she was pregnant before Saturday, Urban said. Normally pregnant service members would leave an operational command at 20 weeks and would certainly not deploy. 

Stars and Stripes reports that “the recent birth aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is at least the third time a Navy sailor has given birth aboard a Norfolk-based ship, and in each instance it appears the mother did not know she was pregnant.

It is uncommon for women to experience pregnancy without knowing it until they go into labor, but it likely occurs more than people realize, said Dr. Stephen Davis, an assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School who focuses on obstetrics and gynecology.”

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3 Responses to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower — Three French Cops and a Unexpected Baby

  1. Jan Christensen says:

    That old song, “The Handsome Cabin Boy,” comes to mind.

  2. Speaking as a captain, let me point out that “The Handsome Cabin Boy” is a bit of an indictment of the captain…

  3. Rick Spilman says:

    I think a better metaphor would be to use modern military jargon. Clearly the three sailors who delivered a child without realizing that they were pregnant lacked a necessary degree of “situational awareness.”