Ship commander removed, accused of being with female Mid

June 12, 1996|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,SUN STAFF

The commander of a guided missile frigate was relieved of command this week after allegedly fraternizing with a female Naval Academy midshipman who was on a summer training cruise.

Vice Adm. Douglas J. Katz removed Cmdr. James H. McKinney Jr., 40, skipper of the Norfolk-based USS Nicholas for 10 months, Monday "after losing confidence in Commander McKinney's judgment and ability to continue in command," said Archie Galloway, a spokesman with the Atlantic fleet. He declined to release further details.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported that McKinney had been on liberty in Nova Scotia and was seen on a dance floor at a club with the midshipman. The two returned to the ship and went to his cabin, the newspaper said.

The Navy has taken a strong stand against fraternization, removing officers for relationships with subordinates.

The Navy did not allege any sexual misconduct with the unidentified woman, who had been assigned to the Nicholas as part of her senior-class academy cruise. Karen Myers, an academy spokeswoman, said the woman has been assigned to another ship.

The academy will wait for the command to complete its investigation before it decides whether the midshipman will face disciplinary action, Myers said.

Pub Date: 6/12/96

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