SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and future USS Daniel Inouye shared stories and reflected on the history of their ship’s namesakes during Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
Celebrated each year in May, AAPI Heritage Month recognizes the selfless service and sacrifice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. military. This year’s theme is “We Answered the Call – Honoring the Past, Securing the Future.”
Command Master Chief (CMC) Josephine T. Tauoa, USS Chung-Hoon, is the first CMC Samoan female in the U.S. Navy.
“The opportunity to serve my first tour as CMC onboard Chung-Hoon, a ship named after the first Asian American/Pacific Islander flag officer, is one that I will always cherish and remember in days to come,” said Tauoa.
Rear Adm. Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon is a recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star for his gallantry and heroism as commanding officer of USS Sigsbee (DD 502) from May 1944 to October 1945. He retired as a two-star admiral and was the nation’s first Asian-Pacific American flag officer.
“Adm. Chung-Hoon was a true trailblazer, and set the standard for all to emulate, excelling in battle and contributing significantly to his country and community following his retirement. He embodied achievement above and beyond what is required while serving in the United States Navy,” said Tauoa. “I’m proud to celebrate the contribution of those who came before me of the same heritage and provided an example for me and many others to follow. Serving as CMC in Chung-Hoon is a rare opportunity and one that means the world to me.”
From Daniel Inouye, Chief Electrician’s Mate Marie Lou Dalby was born and raised in the Philippines, and immigrated to the United States in 2006. “Grateful for what my new life had to offer, I decided to join the United States Navy and became an American citizen in 2008,” said Dalby.
She said she is now living the American Dream. A dream that includes being stationed on a ship whose namesake, like her, has with a connection to Asian American/Pacific Isander heritage and military service.
Sen. Daniel Inouye served in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Composed of soldiers primarily of Japanese descent, the 442nd became one of the most decorated units in U.S. history. Inouye received the Medal of Honor for his combat heroism, which cost him his right arm. Following his service in the Army, Inouye served for 50 years in the Senate.
“Daniel Inouye is a true hero and embodies the definition of what honor, courage, selflessness, and patriotism means,” said Dalby. “He answered the call, regardless of barriers and prejudice along his way. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the ship named after Daniel Inouye.”
Dalby said the Inouye crew honors their ship’s namesake by continuing to answer the call, in ways such as providing support to operational ships on the waterfront in the form of leadership, technical expertise, experience, and watchstanding.
“Even during these COVID-19 times, the Daniel Inouye crew never backs down and continues to go above and beyond in delivering support to maintain warfighting readiness while taking care of its crew at the same time,” Dalby said.
This year, the U.S. Navy remembers the heritage, contributions, and service of Asian American and Pacific Islanders and celebrates the diversity and strength they bring to the service and to the Nation.
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