Christening ceremony takes place at Pascagoula shipyard

Christening ceremony takes place at Pascagoula shipyard

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Arleigh Burke destroyers are some of the most advanced ships in American history. Now, another one will soon be hitting the sea.

"Arleigh Burke destroyers are the most powerful destroyers in the world. They go throughout this country, throughout the world, protecting this country's interest," said Ingalls Shipbuilding president, Brian Cuccias.

Early Saturday morning, a crowd gathered at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula for a christening ceremony, dedicating the newest ship to a very special war hero. The vessel is named after 19-year-old Ralph Johnson, who sacrificed his life to save his fellow marines by covering a grenade during the Vietnam war.

"I tell you, it's an honor and a privilege to be a part of the first crew of a ship that's named after such a brave American who selfishly gave his life for his buddy's, and his fellow marines," said Capt. Jason Patterson.

Also on among those taking part in the ceremony was Helen Johnson Richards, Ralph Johnson's sister.

"My greatest thanks to the ship builders. Those who keep his memories alive to let people know who he was and the life that he lived," said Richards.

"Any time you can celebrate a christening of any ship, particularly the ships Ingalls built, is a proud moment to be a part of the finest ship builders in the world," said Cuccias.

Sea trials for the Ralph Johnson will take place in 2017.

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