Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced his decision today to name the fourth submarine of the VIRGINIA Class for the state of North Carolina. "More than half a century has elapsed since a U.S. Navy ship has borne the name, "North Carolina," said Danzig. "With over 2,000 of North Carolina's sons and daughters having joined the Navy and Marine Corps this year, and more than 45,000 Sailors and Marines currently serving in the state, I find it more than fitting to honor this great state and its brave sons and daughters by naming our newest fast attack submarine NORTH CAROLINA." This will be the fourth ship of the Navy to carry the name "North Carolina." The original was USS NORTH CAROLINA (1820-1836), the second (ACR 12) (1908-1921), and the third (BB 55) (1940-1947). NORTH CAROLINA received 12 battle stars for World War II service. NORTH CAROLINA (SSN 777) will be built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in Groton, Conn., and Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., and will join the Fleet in December 2006.