The Navy will christen the first Arleigh Burke restart guided missile destroyer on Saturday, slightly more than a month after launching the ship in late March, the service announced this week.
John Finn (DDG-113), built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., is named for Navy Lt. John Finn who received the Medal of Honor during actions taken in the surprise attack of Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Dec. 7, 1941.
“During the first attack by Japanese airplanes on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lt. Finn promptly secured and manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machinegun strafing fire,” read Finn’s Medal of Honor citation.
“Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety.”
Finn, who initially enlisted in the service, will be commemorated in remarks by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens at the ceremony at the Ingalls yard. The ship’s sponsor is Laura Stavridis, wife of retired NATO commander Adm. James Stavridis.
“I often speak to the members of the chief petty officer mess about the characteristics of a leader, and more specifically the characteristics I expect to see in my chiefs, said Stevens in a Navy statement.
“I tell them that a model chief petty officer is a quiet, humble, servant leader. I believe with all my heart that John Finn exemplified all of these traits through his heroic actions on that day.”
Finn died in 2010 in California. He was 100.
The ship, expected to commission next year, is the 63rd Burke guided missile destroyer and part of the Flight IIA restart program in 2008 after the service’s bids for next generation surface combatant were deemed too expensive.
Ingalls and General Dynamic Bath Iron Works are currently building ships as part of a 10-ship multi-year contract.