Today, in a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, DDG 122, will be named John Basilone in honor of the United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
(Learn More, courtesy of BandofBrothersfan92 and YouTube)
He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross in World War II.
This is the second ship to be named for John Basilone. The first USS Basilone (DD/DDE-824) was a Gearing-class destroyer, decommissioned in 1977.
“It is a great honor to name this ship in recognition of John Basilone,” said Mabus. “I have no doubt that all who serve aboard her will carry on the legacy of service and commitment exemplified by this Marine Corps hero.”
(A look at heroic WWII Marine John Basilone with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Courtesy of HBO and YouTube)
This is the seventh ship that Secretary Mabus has named honoring a Medal of Honor recipient. Others have included Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) John Finn (DDG 113), Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), and Woody Williams (T-ESB 4).
Arleigh-Burke class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. DDG 122 will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.
(Learn More, courtesy of ArmedForcesUpdate and YouTube)
The ship will be constructed at Bath Iron Works, a division of General Dynamics in Maine and is expected to enter the Navy fleet in 2022. The ship will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.