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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 397-95
July 20, 1995

NAVY TO COMMISSION DESTROYER

RAMAGE (DDG 61) AT BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

The U.S. Navy will commission the guided missile destroyer, Ramage (DDG 61) at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 22, 1995, at Boston, Massachusetts.

Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts will be the ceremony's principal speaker. Barbara Ramage, widow of the late Vice Admiral Lawson Paterson Ramage, USN (1909-1990), for whom this ship is named, will attend. Mrs. Ramage christened the ship in April 1994. Deborah P. Christie, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management, and Admiral William J. Flanagan, Jr., Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, will also speak.

Vice Admiral Ramage became the first living submariner to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944. As commanding officer of the submarine USS Parche (SS 384), he was cited for bravery in a perilous July 1944 predawn surface attack against an enemy convoy off Taiwan. Parche crippled or sank five ships in an enemy convoy during a 46-minute engagement. In later explaining his valor, Ramage said, "I got mad." Ramage also earned two Navy Crosses and a Bronze Star during his World War II service and later earned two Distinguished Service Medals, one for his service as Commander, First Fleet; and the other for service as Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service (now Military Sealift Command). No previous U.S. Navy ships have been named Ramage.

Ramage is the eleventh of 32 Arleigh Burke Class ships authorized by Congress to be built. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's modern Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward ...From the Sea." These new destroyers will replace older, less capable ships that are being taken out of service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as part of its overall plan to modernize the fleet. These versatile ships are designed to operate independently or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.

The ship is equipped to carry Standard surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems, two fully automated radar controlled Phalanx close-in weapon systems, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, one five-inch gun and electronic warfare systems. Ramage is 505 feet in length, has a beam of 66 feet and displaces approximately 8,500 tons fully loaded. The ship will have a crew of 26 officers and 315 Sailors. Commander Daniel D. Thompson, USN, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, will be the ship's commanding officer.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact LT Howard Payton, Navy Office of Information, New England, at (617) 951-2690.