New destroyer to be christened at Northrop Grumman - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New destroyer to be christened at Northrop Grumman

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – The Navy's newest Aegis guided destroyer will be christened this weekend.

The festivities begin on Friday when people affiliated with the William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) visit Northrop Grumman in Pascagoula. DDG 110 honors the late Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, who spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He later served as superintendent of the Naval Academy.

During the Vietnam War, as commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143, Lawrence earned the Silver Star for a strike against a heavily defended target in North Vietnam. He completed his mission, but was captured after his aircraft went down and he remained a POW until March 1973. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership to fellow POWs. A poem he composed to keep up his spirits, "Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee," became that state's official state poem in 1973.

Among the presenters at Saturday's christening is Texas businessman H. Ross Perot.

The William P. Lawrence is the 28th Aegis guided missile destroyer built at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula shipyard.

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