John Finn leaves Ingalls shipyard - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

John Finn leaves Ingalls shipyard

It was a bittersweet day at Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, as workers bid farewell to the latest Aegis guided missile destroyer.  (Photo source: WLOX) It was a bittersweet day at Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, as workers bid farewell to the latest Aegis guided missile destroyer.  (Photo source: WLOX)
John Finn pulled away from the dock around 9:15 Friday morning, with a large group of shipyard workers and others looking on. (Photo source: WLOX) John Finn pulled away from the dock around 9:15 Friday morning, with a large group of shipyard workers and others looking on. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Friday was a bittersweet morning for many of the Ingalls Shipyard workers who helped build DDG-113, John Finn. The warship has been a fixture at the shipyard for the past five years, during its construction. But the time has arrived for DDG-113 to leave America's shipyard. It's now headed for Hawaii, where it will be commissioned on July 15.

One worker describes the occasion as both happy and sad.

"The happy part is that we actually got it to where it needed to be. And it looks good, it's an outstanding ship. And the sad part is there's a lot of people we got to meet and associate with. And I will get a chance to see those people sooner or later," said Artensie Sabino-Grace, a shipyard employee who worked on the John Finn.

"It's an amazing ship. My heart goes out with the crew and the ship. I'm just glad to be a part of it. It's a great feeling knowing this company has produced a fine ship," said shipyard worker James Lloyd.

The ship's namesake, Navy Lt. James Finn, was the first Medal of Honor recipient in World War II. Despite multiple wounds, he helped fight off the Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Finn died in 2010 at age 100, but his legacy lives on in a world class destroyer, the ships considered the backbone of the Navy surface fleet.

"As you can see looking down the pier here, we've got two more in the water and another one fixing to come off the hill. Really excited about building these destroyers," said Ingalls worker Norman Thames.

The president of Ingalls Shipbuilding is pleased with the current backlog of work and says it's a testament to the quality workforce here at the shipyard.

"We're over a million hours ahead of schedule. Four programs in the yard. Eleven ships under construction. Cost is improving across the board. It's really a testament to what fine workers we have in Mississippi," said Brian Cuccias.

Those workers bid farewell to their latest shipbuilding accomplishment Friday morning as John Finn pulled away from the pier.

John Finn, DDG-113, is the 29th Arleigh Burke class, Aegis guided missile destroyer built at Ingalls.

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