Bath Iron Works lays keel of future US Navy destroyer John Basilone

The US Navy destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in 2013 (Photo: US Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class RJ Stratchko)

The keel of the future USS John Basilone, a US Navy guided missile destroyer, was laid at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works’ (BIW) shipyard on Friday, January 10.

The 72nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be named after a United States Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who was killed in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. John Basilone received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, and for conspicuous gallantry displayed in the Battle of Iwo Jima, after he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield.

The destroyer will be the second US Navy ship to honour Gunnery Sergeant Basilone.

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