The U.S. Navy will commission its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), during a 10:00 a.m. EST ceremony at Flynn Cruiseport in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The future USS Thomas Hudner honors naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr. President Harry S. Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Hudner on April 13, 1951, who displayed “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” for attempting to save the life of his squadron mate, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. Although Brown perished in the incident, Hudner survived the war and retired from the Navy after 26 years of service. He passed away Nov. 13, 2017 at the age of 93 and was interred with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on April 4, 2018. This will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. The ship’s sponsors are Georgea Hudner, widow of Capt. Thomas Hudner, and Barbara Miller, wife of retired Vice Adm. Michael Miller, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. In a time-honored Navy tradition, they will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“The commissioning of USS Thomas Hudner continues a spirit of faithful service that Thomas Hudner embodied throughout his life, and his legacy will live on in those who serve aboard this ship,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “USS Thomas Hudner is a testament to what the service and teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together, from the start of the acquisition process, to the delivery, to the start of the first watch.”
The future USS Thomas Hudner will be the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Thomas Hudner will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capabilities.
USS Thomas Hudner will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.