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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 008-03
January 08, 2003

NAVY TO CHRISTEN NEW GUIDED-MISSILE DESTROYER

The Chung-Hoon, the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, will be christened Jan. 11, 2003, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss.

The ship honors Navy Rear Adm. Gordon P. Chung-Hoon, born in Honolulu, July 10, 1910. Chung-Hoon attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in May 1934. He is a recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as commanding officer for USS Sigsbee (DD 502) from May 1944 to October 1945. In the spring of 1945, the Sigsbee assisted in the destruction of 20 enemy planes while screening a carrier strike force off the Japanese island of Kyushu.

On April 14, 1945, while on radar picket station off Okinawa, a kamikaze crashed into the Sigsbee, reducing her starboard engine to five knots and knocking out the ship's port engine and steering control. Despite the damage, then Cmdr. Chung-Hoon valiantly kept his antiaircraft batteries delivering "prolonged and effective fire" against the continuing enemy air attack while simultaneously directing the damage control efforts that allowed his shipto make port under her own power. Chung-Hoon retired in October 1959 and died in July 1979.

Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Walter F. Doran will deliver the ceremonys principal address. Michelle Punana Sorge, niece of the ships namesake, will serve as sponsor for the ship named for her uncle. In the time-honored Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen Chung-Hoon.

Chung-Hoon is the 43rd ship of a planned production run of 63 vessels and the 20th Aegis destroyer to be built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. These highly capable, multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Chung-Hoon will have capabilities in cooperative engagement and is capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains a myriad of offensive and defensive systems designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Cmdr. Kenneth L. Williams, a native of Darmstadt, Ind., will be the prospective commanding officer of the ship having a crew of approximately 32 officers and 348 enlisted personnel. The 9,300-ton Chung-Hoon is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, an overall beam of 66.5 feet, and a navigational draft of 31.9 feet. Four gas turbine propulsion plants will power the ship to speeds above 30 knots.

For more information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers, visit http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-dd.html.

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