Future USS Ralph Johnson to be Commissioned in Charleston
SAN DIEGO -- Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer announced that the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), will be commissioned during a ceremony March 24 in Charleston, S.C., Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in an Oct. 23 release.
Ralph Johnson, commanded by Cmdr. Jason Patterson, a Chicago native, is the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the 30th DDG 51-class destroyer built by the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard. It is the first warship named for Medal of Honor-recipient Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson.
Johnson, a native of Charleston, posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.
In early fall of 2014, the keel of Ralph Johnson was laid down. The ship was launched on Dec. 12, 2015, and christened on April 2, 2016, during ceremonies at the HII shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
After commissioning in Charleston, Ralph Johnson will make its way to homeport in Everett, Wash.