Guided-Missile Destroyer Thomas Hudner to be Christened
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy will christen the newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), April 1 during a ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, the Defense Department announced in a March 29 release.
The ship is named in honor of naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Thomas J. Hudner Jr., the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor to have served in the Korean War. Georgea Hudner, wife of Capt. Thomas Hudner, and Barbara Miller, wife of retired Vice Adm. Michael Miller, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, will serve as the ship’s sponsors.
Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for attempting to save the life of his squadron mate, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. This will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.
Allison Stiller will serve as the principal speaker during the ceremony. Stiller currently is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition). During the event, Hudner and Miller will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship — a time-honored Navy tradition.
“This ceremony not only honors a true naval hero, but also the dedicated men and women of our nation’s shipbuilding industry, whose skill and diligence have brought this great warship one step closer to joining the fleet,” said Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy.
Thomas Hudner will be the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the fourth of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The 9,200-ton Thomas Hudner is being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.