USS Ralph Johnson to be commissioned in namesake’s hometown

The commissioning ceremony for future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) will take place in the late hero’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced January 11.

The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, a native of Charleston, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War.

Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.

Ralph Johnson is the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the 30th DDG 51 class destroyer built by the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard.

The ship was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Dec. 12, 2015.

A date for the commissioning ceremony is yet to be determined, the navy said.

USS Ralph Johnson is a Flight IIA destroyer that will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 which incorporates integrated air and missile defense and enhanced ballistic missile defense capabilities.

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