The newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Pinckney (DDG 91) will be commissioned on Saturday, May 29, 2004, during an 11 a.m. PDT ceremony at the Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif.
The ship honors Navy Cook First Class William Pinckney, (1915-1976), recipient of the Navy Cross for his courageous rescue of a fellow crewmember onboard the USS Enterprise (CV 6) during the World War II Battle of Santa Cruz. When an explosion killed four of the six men at his battle station in an ammunition handling room, Pinckney and the other surviving sailor attempted to exit through a hatch to the hangar deck above. When the other man grasped the scorching hatch, he fell back unconscious. Despite the suffocating smoke, flames, and gasoline fumes surrounding him, Pinckney carried the sailor to safety. For his selfless heroism, Pinckney was awarded the Navy Cross.
The Honorable John J. Young, Jr., assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Henrietta Middleton Pinckney will serve as sponsor for the ship named for her husband. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Pinckney will give the order to man our ship and bring her to life!
Pinckney is the 41st ship of a planned production run of 62 vessels and will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
Pinckney was built at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula, Miss. The 9,300-ton ship is 509.5 feet in length, 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.