The Department of the Navy will christen the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer Mustin (DDG 89) in a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15, 2001, at 10 a.m. CST at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Miss.
Mustin will honor one of the nation's most prestigious naval families. The Mustins' legacy to the Navy extended from 1896 until 1989, nearly one century of naval history. Capt. Henry C. Mustin (1874-1923) was an 1896 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned a commendation for distinguished service in the capture of Vigan, Philippines, in 1899, flew the first aircraft ever catapulted from a ship, flew the first operational missions of naval aircraft during the Veracruz operation in 1914, and was the first commander of Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet.
His son, Vice Adm. Lloyd M. Mustin (1911-1999), a 1932 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, took part in developing the Navy's first lead-computing anti-aircraft gun sight, which proved of major importance in the air-sea actions of World War II, and he served on the cruiser USS Atlanta during the naval battle of Guadalcanal. His ship was lost during that action, and with other survivors he landed on Guadalcanal and served ashore with a naval unit attached to the First Marine Division. His post war service included commands at sea and development and evaluation of weapon systems. He later served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The destroyer Mustin (DD 413) (1939-1946), named in honor of Capt. Henry C. Mustin, earned thirteen battle stars for World War II service that included the battles of Santa Cruz and Guadalcanal, and major amphibious operations in the Pacific. This name has received significant support from veterans of that ship.
Mustin's two sons, retired Vice Adm. Henry C. Mustin and former Lt. Cmdr. Thomas M. Mustin, have continued their family's legacy of service. Henry Mustin, a 1955 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served in the 1980s as the Naval Inspector General, commander, Second Fleet and deputy chief of Naval Operations for Plans and Policy. Thomas Mustin, also a Naval Academy graduate (1962), earned a Bronze Star during the Vietnam conflict for river patrol combat action.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark will deliver the ceremony's address. Mustin's sponsors include Lucy Holcomb Mustin, wife of ship's namesake, Jean Phillips Mustin, wife of ship's namesake Thomas Mustin and Douglas Mustin St. Denis, sister of Henry and Thomas. Anne Howard Thomas, who served as Matron of Honor for the first ship named Mustin in 1938, will also serve these sponsors as Matron of Honor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, the sponsors will break bottles of champagne across the bow to formally name the ship Mustin.
Mustin is the 39th of 58 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress, and the 18th Aegis destroyer to be built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations in Pascagoula, Miss. Arleigh Burke class destroyers are the most capable surface warships ever built. Equipped with the latest weapons, electronics, helicopter support facilities, propulsion, auxiliary and survivability systems, DDG 51 destroyers will carry out the Navy's missions well into the 21st century. State-of-the-art command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems provide their ships' crew with complete situational awareness.
Cmdr. Ann Phillips of Annapolis, Md., is the prospective commanding officer of Mustin with a crew of approximately 380 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel. Upon commissioning in 2003, the ship will be homeported in San Diego, Calif., as a member of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Mustin is 509.5 feet in length, has an overall beam of 66.5 feet, and draws a 31.9 foot draft. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,300-ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
More information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is on the Web at http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/ships/ship-dd.html .