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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 033-03
January 23, 2003

NAVY NAMES NEW DESTROYERS HONORING NAVAL HEROES

Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England has selected the names of three great naval heroes for the next Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers. Fleet Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr., Adm. Forrest Sherman and Adm. David Glasgow Farragut will each have a guided-missile destroyer sail under their names.

The Halsey honors Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr. (1882-1959). During World War I, Cmdr. Halsey was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions while in command of USS Benham and USS Shaw during convoy escort duties. Designated a naval aviator in 1935 at the age of 52, he took command of USS Saratoga from 1935 until 1937. In February 1942, then Vice Adm. Halsey while serving as commander, Carrier Division Two aboard the flagship USS Enterprise, led the first counter-strikes of World War II against the Japanese with carrier raids on the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. Later that year, his task force launched the famous "Doolittle Raid" against targets on the Japanese homeland. Assigned as commander, South Pacific Force and South Pacific Area on Oct. 18, 1942, Halsey led the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army forces that conquered the strategically important Solomon Islands. Subsequently as commander, Third Fleet, his task forces consistently won hard fought victories during campaigns in the Philippines, Okinawa, and other islands. Nicknamed "Bull" Halsey he embodied his slogan, "Hit hard, hit fast, hit often." On Dec. 11, 1945, he became the fourth officer to hold the rank of fleet admiral. One previous ship has been named Halsey (1963-1994), which earned eight battle stars for Vietnam Service in addition to a Navy Unit Commendation and a Meritorious Unit commendation, and participated in contingency operations in Korean waters (1969-1971) and in the Indian Ocean (1980). Northrop-Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., will build Halsey.

The Forrest Sherman honors Adm. Forrest Percival Sherman (1896-1951). Sherman served as Chief of Naval Operations from November 1949 until his death on July 22, 1951. Following World War I service, he was designated a naval aviator and later served in USS Lexington during the carrier's first year in commission. He twice held squadron commands on the USS Saratoga and served as navigator on the USS Ranger prior to joining the staff of commander, U.S. Fleet in February 1940. When World War II began, he served in the War Plans Division under the Chief of Naval Operations. After assuming command of the USS Wasp in May 1942, he attained the rank of Captain and earned the Navy Cross for his leadership of that ship during early phases of the occupation and defense of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. After a Japanese submarine sank the Wasp on Sept. 15, 1942, he became chief of staff, to commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet and served in that capacity until November 1943, when he became deputy chief of staff to Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. He earned a Distinguished Service Medal for his role in planning the capture of the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Western Carolines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Following a brief tenure as commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean, Sherman became the youngest man ever to serve as Chief of Naval Operations on Nov. 2, 1949. One previous ship, USS Forrest Sherman (1955-1982) was named in his honor, earned a Navy Unit Commendation and performed distinguished service off Lebanon (1958), Quemoy-Matsu (1958), Cuba (1961), and in the Indian Ocean (1980). Northrop-Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., will build the Sherman.

The Farragut honors Adm. David Glasgow Farragut (1801-1870). One of the Union's great heroes, Farragut gained famed for his exploits while in command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the Civil War. In 1862 his ships fought past Confederate forts to capture New Orleans, proving for the first time that cities could be taken by naval forces. In 1863 at Vicksburg, he gained control of the Mississippi splitting the Confederacy. In 1864 he boldly led his squadron through a minefield to win the Battle of Mobile Bay. Four previous ships have been named Farragut: A Torpedo Boat (1899-1919); a destroyer (1920-1930); a destroyer (1934-1945) that earned fourteen battle stars in World War II (including Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Eastern Solomons, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa); and a guided-missile destroyer (1960-1989) that took part in contingency operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and earned a Navy Unit Commendation. Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics Co., in Maine will build Farragut.

The Halsey, Sherman and Farragut are Flight IIA variants of the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, and incorporate a helicopter hangar facility into the original design. The ships can carry two SH-60B/R helicopters. Guided-missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups.

For further information contact Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, (703) 697-7491.