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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy



Operational and Building Data
Named by SecNav May 7 2012.
Keel laid, November 16 2015.
Christened, April 1 2017.
Delivered, June 15 2018
Commissioned at Boston, December 1 2018.

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Hudner 97kSecretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced May 7 2012 the next Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer (DDG) will be named the USS Thomas Hudner. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his wingman, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown. During the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, anti-aircraft fire hit Brown's aircraft, damaging a fuel line and causing him to crash. After it became clear Brown was seriously injured and unable to free himself Hudner proceeded to purposefully crash his own aircraft to join Brown and provide aid. Hudner injured his own back during his crash landing, but he stayed with Brown until a rescue helicopter arrived. Hudner and the rescue pilot worked in the sub-zero, snow-laden area in an unsuccessful attempt to free Brown from the smoking wreckage. Hudner is the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War. After receiving recognition for his heroism, Hudner remained on active duty, completing an additional 22 years of naval service during which his accomplishments include flying 27 combat missions in the Korean War and serving as the executive officer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. "Thomas Hudner exemplifies the core values of honor, courage and commitment the Navy holds dear," said Mabus. "Naming the Navy's next DDG for him will ensure his legacy will be known, honored and emulated by future generations of sailors and Marines who serve and all who come in contact with this ship." The Arleigh Burke class destroyer will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. It will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with the Navy's ability to execute the Department of Defense's defense strategy.Tony Cowart/Bill Gonyo
Hudner 171kCongressional Medal of Honor Recipient retired Capt. Thomas Hudner meets with Vice President Dick Cheney during an underway demonstration aboard the 210-year-old USS Constitution, Old Ironsides, at Boston, Mass., July 4, 2008. Hudner earned the Medal of Honor for a heroic rescue attempt of a fellow naval aviator during the Korean War. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clay Weis, USN, 080704-N-BV659-155.Robert M. Cieri
Hudner 128kAn artist's rendering of Thomas Hudner.Tony Cowart
Hudner   Hudner   Hudner   Hudner
Christening Ceremony
Ron Reeves
Hudner 68kCover of the Christening Ceremony pamphlet.Ron Reeves
Hudner 910k180503-N-N0101-234. Bath, Maine, April 2018. The future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) returns after successfully completing acceptance trials. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer spent a day underway off the coast of Maine testing many of its onboard systems to validate that their performance met or exceeded Navy specifications. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Bath Iron Works/ReleasedDave Wright
Hudner 642kThomas Hudner (DDG 116) at her commissioning ceremony in Boston, 01 December 2018. Richard Leonhardt
Hudner 602kThomas Hudner (DDG 116) at her commissioning ceremony in Boston, 01 December 2018. Richard Leonhardt
Hudner 139kShip's patch.Wolfgang Hechler

Commanding Officers
01CDR Nathan Walden Scherry01 December 2018 - August 2020
02CDR Richard Brett LitchfieldAugust 2020 - present

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 18 September 2020