WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Chung-Hoon, will be commissioned Sept. 18 during a ceremony at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at 10:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time.
The ship honors Rear Adm. Gordon P. Chung-Hoon, born in Honolulu, July 25, 1910. Chung-Hoon attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in May 1934. He is a recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as commanding officer of USS Sigsbee from May 1944 to October 1945. In the spring of 1945, the Sigsbee assisted in the destruction of 20 enemy planes while screening a carrier strike force off the Japanese island of Kyushu.
On April 14, 1945, while on radar picket station off Okinawa, a kamikaze crashed into Sigsbee, reducing her starboard engine to five knots and knocking out the ship's port engine and steering control. Despite the damage, then Cmdr. Chung-Hoon valiantly kept his antiaircraft batteries delivering "prolonged and effective fire" against the continuing enemy air attack while simultaneously directing the damage control efforts that allowed his ship to make port under her own power. Chung-Hoon retired in October 1959 and died in July 1979.
Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon, niece of the ship's namesake, will serve as ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition of commissioning U.S. Naval ships, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"
Chung-Hoon is the 43rd ship of 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. This highly capable multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy. Chung-Hoon will be capable of fighting air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Cmdr. Kenneth L. Williams, a native of Darmstadt, Ind., is the ship's first commanding officer. With a crew of approximately 330 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel, the ship will be homeported in Pearl Harbor as a member of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The 20th Aegis destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., Chung-Hoon is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, an overall beam of 66.5 feet, and a navigational draft of 31.9 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the 9,300-ton ship to speeds of more than 30 knots.
For more information about Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, visit www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4.