New Aegis Destroyer Christened at Northrop Grumman

Monday, January 13, 2003
"Chung-Hoon will enter the fleet at a time when our Navy and our nation needs her desperately," said Adm. Walter F. Doran, USN, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, at the christening of the new Aegis guided missile destroyer at Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ingalls Operations.

"I am confident that like her namesake, she will sail tall and strong, and answer every challenge with the same courage and tenacity displayed by Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon. Chung-Hoon will now sail side-by-side with other great ships of this class that have been named for Naval heroes, ships like USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Porter (DDG 78), and USS Preble (DDG 88). They are especially familiar to the men and women of Ingalls who built them, as well as many more of the great warships of today that are navigating the world's oceans and protecting all that America holds dear."

Adm. Doran was principal speaker at Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector for the christening of the Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), named to honor Rear Adm. Gordon Pai'ea 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.

Adm. Doran, paying tribute to the men and women of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems who built DDG 93, said, "I want to thank you all for the dedication and determination you have displayed in service of your country, because the men and women of the Navy who are deployed during this time of war could not be fighting and winning the battles overseas or protecting our homeland without the efforts of the Northrop Grumman team. For decades now, the ingenuity and skill of the great workforce here at Ingalls have provided the Navy with the world's greatest warships."

More than 1,300 guests attended the ceremony highlighting the courageous actions of Chung-Hoon. Perry White, stepson of Gordon Chung-Hoon, addressed the audience with memories of Chung-Hoon as a father figure. "He did things only because they were the right things to do," White said. "I never saw him do anything because somebody wanted him to do it, or he thought it would improve his chances for gaining something. He had an incredible, clear internal compass that always kept him on the right course." The ceremony culminated as the ship's sponsor, Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon, of Honolulu, Hawaii, Gordon Chung-Hoon's niece, smashed a commemorative bottle of champagne across the bow of the ship, assisted by her friend and cousin, Matron of Honor Nancy King Holt, of Kailua, Hawaii, and Chung-Hoon's daughter, Maid of Honor Asti Punana Sorge', of Waianae, Hawaii. Chung-Hoon christened the new ship "in memory of my uncle, Rear Admiral Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon, and in the name of the United States of America. The capabilities of this guided missile destroyer and Uncle Gordon's heroic workmanship complement each other. To the officers and crew who will take their tour of duty on this destroyer, it is my hope and prayer that my uncle's spirit, motivation and determination be with you as you journey through complicated times in unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly seas."

Chung-Hoon 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. These highly capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. "I want to recognize all the employees of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems for their outstanding service to the Navy and to our nation over the many years that Aegis ships have been built here in Pascagoula," said Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton II, USN, deputy program executive officer, Ships. "You truly are building freedom, one great ship at a time."

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