The Navy will christen the newest guided missile destroyer, the future USS John Finn (DDG 113), Saturday, May 2, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The new destroyer honors Lt. John Finn, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the first attack by Japanese airplanes at Pearl Harbor. While under heavy machine gun fire, Finn manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Painfully wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post. After receiving first aid treatment, he overcame the severe pain of his injuries and returned to the squadron area to supervise the rearming of returning planes.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Laura Stavridis, spouse of Adm. James Stavridis, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow to formally christen the ship.
“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. “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.”
Designated DDG 113, John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke class destroyer, and will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. John Finn will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare including integrated air and missile defense capabilities.