PASCAGOULA, Miss., Jan. 3, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Walter F. Doran, USN, will be the principal speaker for a ceremony here Jan. 11 honoring a Navy destroyerman as the U.S. Navy's newest Aegis guided missile destroyer is christened at Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Ship Systems sector.
The new ship, designated DDG 93, will be officially christened with the name Chung-Hoon to honor Rear Adm. Gordon P. Chung-Hoon, (1910-1979), recipient of the Navy Cross for his courageous leadership after a devastating kamikaze attack in 1945 left several of his crew dead and his ship, USS Sigsbee (DD 502), severely crippled.
The public is invited to the christening, which begins at 10 a.m. CST. Bus transportation will be provided from the shipyard's west bank parking lots. Guests are requested to be at Ingalls Operations by 9:15 a.m.
Chung-Hoon's niece, Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon of Hawaii, has been selected by the Navy as Ship's Sponsor for DDG 93, and will christen the new destroyer in his honor at the conclusion of the ceremony. The Matron of Honor is Nancy Holt of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Maid of Honor is Asti Punana Sorge' of Waianae, Hawaii, the sponsor's cousin and daughter, respectively.
The U.S. Navy Band from New Orleans, La., will entertain guests before and during the ceremony. The Rev. Robert L. Kates, retired, First United Methodist Church, Pascagoula, will deliver the ceremony's invocation. The Pascagoula High School NJROTC Color Guard will participate in the festivities as well.
In addition to Adm. Doran, ceremony participants will include Rear Adm. William W. Cobb Jr., USN, program executive officer for Theater Surface Combatants; Perry White, stepson of Rear Adm. Chung-Hoon; Capt. Philip N. Johnson, USN, supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, Pascagoula; and Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Ship Systems sector.
In announcing his decision to name DDG 93 Chung-Hoon, then-Navy Secretary Richard Danzig remarked, "The destroyer Chung-Hoon commemorates a triumph of the human spirit. Commander (later Rear Admiral) Chung-Hoon secured two victories by his courage and tenacity in the face of catastrophic damage to his own ship. The officers and crew of DDG 93 will proudly serve on a ship that bears this name."
In the spring of 1945, Chung-Hoon, in command of Sigsbee, assisted in the destruction of 20 enemy planes while screening a carrier strike force off the Japanese island of Kyushu. On April 14, 1945, while on radar picket station off Okinawa, a kamikaze crashed into Sigsbee, reducing her starboard engine to five knots and knocking out the ship's port engine and steering control. Despite the damage, Chung-Hoon valiantly kept his antiaircraft batteries delivering "prolonged and effective fire" against the continuing enemy air attack while simultaneously directing the damage control efforts that allowed Sigsbee to make port under her own power. He retired in 1959.
Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) is the 43rd ship in the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided missile destroyers -- the U.S. Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet.
DDG 93 is the 20th Aegis destroyer to be launched and christened of 28 ships under contract to Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. The company's first 17 Aegis destroyers have been delivered to the Navy and commissioned into fleet service. Two additional ships now in production in Pascagoula will precede DDG 93 into the fleet.
Construction of Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) began Jan. 17, 2001, and DDG 93's keel was laid Jan. 14, 2001. Upon completion of outfitting, as well as dockside and at-sea testing and crew training, DDG 93 will be commissioned USS Chung-Hoon in 2004, and will be homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a member of the Pacific Fleet.
Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems Sector includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $25 billion global defense company, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: Jim McIngvale Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (228) 935-3971