New destroyer to be commissioned in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. — One of the U.S. Navy’s newest warships is going to be commissioned in Charleston, South Carolina, home of its Marine Corps namesake and recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The Navy announced Wednesday the ceremony for the USS Ralph Johnson will be in the hometown of Marine Pfc. Ralph H. Johnson. He posthumously received the U.S. military’s highest award for his actions during the Vietnam War. The 19-year-old used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, dying instantly in March 1968.

Read Pfc. Ralph H. Johnson’s Medal of Honor citation here

No date has been set for the ceremony. The ship is the Navy’s 64th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and was launched in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on Dec. 12, 2015.

The Navy says the ship has adopted the motto of Johnson’s Marine battalion, “Swift, Silent, Deadly.”

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