Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will host a ship naming ceremony in honor of the USS Thomas Hudner on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 11 a.m. EDT on board the USS Constitution at Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, Mass.
Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his wingman, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown. During the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, anti-aircraft fire hit Brown’s aircraft, damaging a fuel line and causing him to crash. After it became clear Brown was seriously injured and unable to free himself, Hudner proceeded to purposefully crash his own aircraft to join Brown and provide aid. Hudner injured his own back during his crash landing, but he stayed with Brown until a rescue helicopter arrived. Hudner and the rescue pilot worked in the sub-zero, snow-laden area in an unsuccessful attempt to free Brown from the smoking wreckage.
Hudner is the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War.
The Arleigh Burke class destroyer will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. It will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with the Navy’s ability to execute the Department of Defense’s defense strategy.
Media interested in attending the event may call USS Constitution public affairs at 617-799-8198. Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more news from secretary of the Navy public affairs, visit http://www.navy.mil/SECNAV .
More information about the Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .