The Aegis destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, was commissioned Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias represented Ingalls' 12,000 shipbuilders at the commissioning.
“The ship we commission today honors U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Ralph Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Vietnam,” Cuccias said. “Upon seeing a granade land in his fighting position, he immediately shielded his fellow Marines from the blast with his own body, despite knowing it would likely end his own life. His actions saved not only his nearest comrades, but his entire reconnaissance squad. It is with great gratitude and respect that we honor him today with the commissioning of this ship.
“We’d like to think that there is a little of Ralph Johnson’s spirit and devotion in each and every one of our shipbuilders, who put their hearts and souls into every ship we build,” Cuccias said. “DDG 114 is no exception. Thousands of dedicated shipbuilders — riggers, fitters, welders, machinists, electricians, designers, planners, engineers and many others — poured tens of thousands of hours into transforming raw materials and equipment into the ship our Navy commissions today.
The USS Ralph Johnson is the 30th Aegis destroyer built by Ingalls Shipbuilding.