The 509-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyers will be the first ships named for Jack H. Lucas and Louis H. Wilson Jr., he said during a ceremony Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
Lucas was a 17-year-old private when he got on top of on one grenade and pulled another under his body in a trench during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was injured and saved three other Marines from injury. Lucas was the youngest World War II service member to receive the Medal of Honor.
As a captain, Wilson commanded Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, which destroyed a larger attacking force during the Battle of Guam. He became a general and the Marine Corps' 26th commandant in July 1975.
The ship to be named for Lucas, DDG 125, will be built at Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula. The DDG 126, to be named for Wilson, will be constructed by Bath Iron Works, a division of General Dynamics in Maine.
Both are expected to enter the Navy in 2023.