The following is the June 18, 2022, christening ceremony of the guided missile destroyer John Basilone (DDG-122).
“The ship’s namesake, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, where he led his heavy machine gun sections in defense of a critical position and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Basilone later returned to action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February of 1944, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield. He was killed in action later that day and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his unwavering devotion and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice,” reads a statement from the Navy.
The sponsors are Ryan Manion and Amy Looney Heffernan. Manion broke a bottle of sparkling wine on the bow.
Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine); Vice Adm. Francis Morley, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Vice Adm. Scott Conn, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities; Don Basilone, brother of the ship’s namesake; and Charles Krugh, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works spoke at the ceremony.