With Honors: USS Thomas Hudner christened
Alumni from around the region travel to Bath Iron Works to witness history
March 31, 2017
—Andover will be well-represented this weekend when the USS Thomas Hudner DDG 116 is christened. Alumni from around the region are expected to descend on Bath Iron Works where the 1943 alumnus and former Naval aviator—the last surviving Korean War Medal of Honor recipient—will be honored during the christening of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer bearing his name.
Andover will hold a permanent place on the newly constructed ship. As part of the traditional “Mast Stepping Ceremony,” an Andover Bicentennial Coin was among the items placed in the mast stepping box. In today’s interpretation of a custom that predates the modern US Navy, “the items that are chosen to be placed beneath the mast of the ship serve to represent the life and character of her namesake.”
Left: An Andover Bicentennial Coin
US Rep. Seth Moulton ’97, with US Rep. Bruce Poliquin ’72 present, spoke for the Congressional Record, noting the significance of this weekend’s ceremony. “On Saturday, April 1, the Hudner family, the Brown family, veterans from across all branches, elected officials and the community of Phillips Academy will gather for the joyous occasion of the christening of the ship. It is a ship that embodies the spirit of Captain Hudner’s school—non sibi, or not for self. He leads his life in that spirit from Fall River, to Andover, to the Chosin Reservoir and on to his continued service to the veterans community.”
Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner ’43, USN (Ret), with his portrait done by Artist Chas Fagan ’84. The portrait will be hung aboard the USS Thomas Hudner.
Streamers fly in celebration of the christening of the USS Thomas Hudner. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.
Capt. Hudner '43 watches the christening ceremony. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.