US Navy christens destroyer John Basilone

Photo: Bath Iron Works

The US Navy christened the future guided missile USS John Basilone at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on Saturday, June 18.

The ship’s namesake, US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone, received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, where he led his heavy machine gun sections in defence of a critical position and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

Basilone later returned to action at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February of 1945, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse and led a Marine tank under fire safely through a minefield. Tragically, he was killed in action later in the same campaign.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be the second US Navy ship to honour Gunnery Sergeant Basilone.

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