So it’s been a while, and my post-rate will probably continue to be lower, but here it goes:
The Navy has been busy naming ship since I left last, and in contrast to some of the last few names, they’re actually doing a pretty great job of it:
From May 5:
The next big-deck amphibious assault ship that will carry Marines and their combat equipment will be called Tripoli, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Friday.
The ship, LHA-7, will be the third to carry the name of the Battle of Derna in 1805 — the first time Marines fought on foreign soil.
“USS Tripoli and the proud heritage the name represents will be an inspiration for generations of sailors and Marines who serve aboard and those who come in contact with her, reminding all the freedoms our Navy protects are as vital today as they were centuries ago,” Mabus said.
My previous issue with naming ships for people like John Murtha, Cesar Chavez and Gabrielle Giffords wasn’t that those people aren’t necessarily deserving of recognition – but that a warship, being a lethal instrutment of state, isn’t the right place to do it. Tripoli, on the other hand, commemorates a first-rate piece of Naval history and one of the most daring raids in military history. I would be proud to serve in USS TRIPOLI, and I have no doubt the Sailors who serve in her will do so with proud.
Following that, the SECNAV did equally as well with the name for the next Arleigh Burke Destroyer (DDG):
Department of Defense Public Affairs — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced May 7 the next Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer (DDG) will be named the USS Thomas Hudner.
I hadn’t heard of him prior to the naming, which is probably a good sign – fame in our society is infrequently connected to valor. The write up for Thomas Hudner will no doubt make for a bad-ass ships’ crest:
During the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, anti-aircraft fire hit Brown’s aircraft, damaging a fuel line and causing him to crash. After it became clear Brown was seriously injured and unable to free himself Hudner proceeded to purposefully crash his own aircraft to join Brown and provide aid. Hudner injured his own back during his crash landing, but he stayed with Brown until a rescue helicopter arrived. Hudner and the rescue pilot worked in the sub-zero, snow-laden area in an unsuccessful attempt to free Brown from the smoking wreckage.
Hudner is the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War.
After receiving recognition for his heroism, Hudner remained on active duty, completing an additional 22 years of naval service during which his accomplishments include flying 27 combat missions in the Korean War and serving as the executive officer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War.
So hooyah USS TRIPOLI and hooyah USS THOMAS HUDNER.