Future USS Hudner Departs Maine Shipyard for Final Time

Streamers mix with falling snow during the christening of the future guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) at the Bath Iron Works shipyard Saturday, April 1, 2017 in Bath, Maine. Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor during in the Korean War when he intentionally crash landed his plane in an effort to save fellow pilot Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy's first African-American pilot. (U.S. Navy photo)
Streamers mix with falling snow during the christening of the future guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) at the Bath Iron Works shipyard Saturday, April 1, 2017 in Bath, Maine. Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor during in the Korean War when he intentionally crash landed his plane in an effort to save fellow pilot Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy's first African-American pilot. (U.S. Navy photo)

BATH, Maine — A U.S. Navy destroyer named for a naval aviator who crash-landed his plane to try to save a downed pilot has departed from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works.

The future USS Thomas Hudner headed down the Kennebec River to open ocean on Wednesday.

Hudner, a Korean War veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor, witnessed the christening of the ship in April 2017 and died months later in his native Massachusetts.

The Navy took delivery of the ship in June, and it will be commissioned into the fleet on Dec. 1 in Boston. The ship's homeport is going to be Mayport, Florida.

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