BOSTON (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Pre-commissioning Unit Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) visited with the ship's namesake, Sept. 24.
"It's not every day that you get to meet a Medal of Honor recipient and the namesake of your ship, so I think this is really cool and has a lot of heritage, and is really good for the junior Sailors," said Chief Fire Controlman David Vendetti. "For our junior Sailors to see this and really understand where the namesake is coming from and meet the man, I think that is priceless."
Hudner is expected to be commissioned in Boston in fall 2018; the ship is named for retired Navy Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who received the Medal of Honor for displaying uncommon valor during the Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Hudner was honored for actions taken after his wingman -- Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat -- was shot down. Under extremely adverse conditions, Hudner purposefully crashed his own aircraft in an attempt to save Brown. Then he and a rescue pilot unsuccessfully attempted to free Brown from the wreckage.
"This trip was pretty special, because not many namesakes are still living, especially ones that are Medal of Honor winners," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class Anthony Williams. "The goal for us was to see where Thomas Hudner was from, to actually meet and spend time with him. It has been a pride- and camaraderie-building trip for our new ship. We get to see who we are serving for and what that name means."
Hudner will be the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to join the Navy, with Cmdr. Nathan Scherry as its first commanding officer.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.