The Guided Missile Destroyer Milius (DDG 69) will be
commissioned during an 11:00 a.m. ceremony Saturday,
November 23, 1996, at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
The ship is named in honor of Navy pilot Capt. Paul L.
Milius (1928-1968). On
February 27, 1968, then-Cmdr. Milius was piloting an OP-2E
observation aircraft on an armed reconnaissance mission over
Southeast Asia when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. After
sustaining the artillery hit, the observation aircraft burst into
flames and one crewman was killed. As dense smoke and fumes
filled the fuselage, Milius ordered the remaining crewmembers to
bail out while he remained at the controls and attempted to
stabilize the aircraft. As a result of his action, the seven
crewmembers safely bailed out, and all were later rescued.
Search and rescue operations, however, failed to locate Capt.
Milius' body, and he was presumed lost. He was promoted to the
rank of captain July 1, 1972, while still listed as Missing in
Action (MIA). On April 26, 1978, he was officially pronounced
presumed killed in action and posthumously awarded the Navy
Adm. William J. Flanagan, commander in chief, U.S. Atlantic
Fleet, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. At the
conclusion of the commissioning, the ship's sponsor, Ms. Annette
C. Milius, daughter of the ship's namesake, will give the first
order to man our ship and bring her to life. Captain Milius'
son, David, will pass the ceremonial long glass to set the ship's
Distinguished guests attending the ceremony include the
Honorable John W. Douglass, assistant secretary of the Navy for
research, development and acquisition; Rear Adm. George A.
Huchting, program executive officer for Surface Combatants/AEGIS
Program; Rear Adm. Robert Sutton, director, Navy International
Programs, office of the secretary of the Navy; and Jerry St. Pe',
senior vice president, Litton Industries and president of Ingalls
Milius is the 19th of 35 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers
currently authorized by
Congress to be built. Aegis destroyers are equipped to conduct a
variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis
management to sea control and power projection, in support
of national military strategy. Milius will operate with aircraft
carriers and battle groups in
high-threat environments and will also provide essential escort
capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat
logistics ships and convoys.
These multimission 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 recapitalize
Milius will 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
weapons systems; Harpoon antiship missiles; one five-inch gun;
and electronic warfare systems.
Following the commissioning, Milius will join the U.S.
Pacific Fleet with Cmdr. Daine E. Eisold, a native of Suffield,
Conn., as the commanding officer. The ship will be homeported in
San Diego, California, with a crew of 19 officers and 331
Sailors. The ship is 505 feet in length, has a waterline beam of
66 feet and displaces approximately 8,600 tons when fully loaded.
Four gas turbine engines power the ship to speeds in excess of 30
For information related to the commissioning contact Mr. Jim
McIngvale, director of communications for Ingalls Shipbuilding,
at (601) 935-3971.