PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - He received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After 30 years in the Navy, John Finn died in 2010 at the age of 100. This patriot will be honored Saturday morning in Pascagoula, when a ship bearing his name is christened.
"We're excited to restart the Arleigh-Burke destroyer program at Ingalls. It's been five years since we built one of these ships, and we're excited. We put together a fantastic team. And this ship has some of the best in class in this hull. And we even launched early on this ship," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
It takes plenty of teamwork to build a 509 foot long vessel. Many who had a hand in building it, have ties to our military.
"I had a father that retired from the Navy. And I had two brothers that was in there and one in the Army, so I've had a lot of people in the military," said shipyard worker Scott Draper.
A brief ceremony on Friday helped recognize the ship's namesake, John Finn. In a time when the words patriot and hero might be thrown around a bit loosely, the ship's namesake, John Finn, certainly does exemplify those words. The ship's sponsor learned more about John Finn at the World War II museum in New Orleans.
"And you can actually hear an interview that was done with him, and see him speak. That was the beauty of him living to be 100 years old, we had a little chance to have a living history," said Laura Elizabeth Stavridis.
When the attack on Pearl Harbor began, John Finn quickly found a 50 caliber machine gun and fired on Japanese planes for two hours.
"Went out there and stood and fought against the Japanese attack. And he encompasses our motto of 'Stand Fast and Fight,'" said Micheal Wagner, the prospective commanding officer of the new ship.
Those who helped build this destroyer, are also impressed with his legacy.
"We found out a little history about John Finn also. Reminded me of myself. He never quit. He was shooting and he never quit. I remember that part," said a smiling April Bilbo-Williams.
Ingalls Shipbuilding currently has three destroyers under construction and several more under contract.