Ship named after Korean War hero Thomas Hudner will be commissioned in Boston

The casket team prepared to fold the flag during burial services for Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr.
Alex Brandon/Associated Press
The casket team prepared to fold the flag during burial services for Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr.

The legacy of a Korean War hero from Massachusetts will live on when the Navy commissions a destroyer ship named for him this winter, officials said Tuesday.

On Dec. 1, “the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Pre Commissioning Unit Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), will be commissioned during a ceremony” in Boston, the military said in a statement.

The vessel is the “first warship named for naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner,” the release said.


Tuesday’s statement also recapped the valor Hudner displayed at the height of the armed conflict, at great personal risk to his own safety.

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“Hudner, a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950,” the release said. “Hudner crash landed his plane in an unsuccessful effort to save the life of his wingman and friend, Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African American combat pilot.”

Hudner died in 2017 at the age of 93 and was laid to rest in April in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors that included a flyover by current members of his old squadron.

Among those in attendance at the April ceremony were Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, a Quincy native, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.

After the Thomas Hudner ship is commissioned in December, it will be brought to its homeport in Mayport, Fla., according to the Navy.


And it’s a formidable ship.

“Arleigh Burke (DDG 51 class) class destroyers are highly-capable, multi-mission ships that conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security,” the release said. “These DDGs provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface environments. The ship’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar will provide increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare threats, as well as ballistic missile defense.”

The Navy added that the “Aegis Combat System will enable the ship to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space, and effectively increase the theater space. New ships in this class, such as Thomas Hudner, have anti-ballistic missile capabilities as well. The DDG’s all-steel construction provides a survivable platform.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.