Navy to Christen Guided-Missile Destroyer John Basilone > US Department of Defense > Liberation
The Navy will christen the future USS John Basilone (DDG 122) in a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, June 18 at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
sergeant. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black will deliver the keynote address at the christening ceremony. US Senator Susan Collins of Maine; Vice Admiral Francis Morley, Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition; Vice Admiral Scott Conn, deputy chief of naval operations for combat requirements and capabilities; Don Basilone, brother of the ship’s namesake; and Charles Krugh, president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will also make remarks. The ship’s sponsors are Ryan Manion and Amy Looney Heffernan, president and vice president of the Travis Manion Foundation. Mrs. Heffernan is unable to attend the event. In an age-old Navy tradition, Ms. Manion will christen the ship by smashing a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
The ship’s namesake, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II, where he led his heavy machine gun sections to defend a critical position and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Basilone later returned to action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1944, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a marine tank under fire to safety through a minefield. He was killed in action later that day and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his unwavering dedication and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice.
“The future USS John Basilone will serve as a constant reminder of the immense impact that the actions taken by any sailor or sailor can truly have,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said. Gunnery Sgt. Basilone is a national hero and this ship and crew will honor his legacy for decades to come.
It is the second ship to honor Basilone. The first, USS Basilone (DD 824), was a Gearing-class destroyer in service from 1945 to 1977.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the US Navy’s surface fleet, protecting America around the world. These high-performance multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of combat capabilities in the air, surface and subterranean multi-threat domains. These elements of sea power enable the navy to defend American prosperity and prevent future conflicts abroad.
Additional information about the ship’s namesake can be found at: https://www.usmcu.edu/Research/Marine-Corps-History-Division/Information-for-Units/Medal-of-Honor-Recipients-By-Unit/Sgt-John-Basilone/
Media can direct questions to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information on the Missile Destroyer programs, visit: https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2169871/destroyers-ddg/