Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Michael G. Mullen, announced the construction of USS Stockdale (DDG 106) at the Western Conference and Exposition (West 2006) at the San Diego Conference Center January 12 in the presence of Mrs. Sybil Stockdale, widow of Navy and Vietnam War hero, Vice Adm. James B. Stockdale.
“You and James are examples to all of us,” said Mullen to Stockdale. “Vice Adm. Stockdale has given courage and inspiration to generations of the men and women of the Navy.”
Mullen went on to say that it was the first ship he’s named as CNO and that it was only fitting to name it after James Stockdale.
“I can’t even put it into words what this means to me,” said Dr. James B. Stockdale, Jr., son of the vice admiral. “I feel very proud. It’s the ultimate tribute to my mom and my dad.”
Stockdale is considered by many to be one of the greatest heroes in U.S. history. He was the highest-ranking POW in the Vietnam War. Stockdale endured nearly eight years of captivity. After his release in 1973, Stockdale was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery and steadfastness a few years later. Stockdale returned to active duty and steadily rose to the rank of vice admiral.
Stockdale also held four Silver Stars and was the Vice Presidential candidate for the 1992 elections on the independent ticket with Ross Perot, who graduated from the Naval Academy a few years after Stockdale.
USS Stockdale will be an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. As a warship, it will help safeguard larger ships within a carrier battle group, surface action group, amphibious group or a replenishment group. USS Stockdale will be a variant of class by housing a helicopter hangar facility on board.
West 2006 was one of the largest West Coast events for communications, electronics, intelligence, information systems, imaging, military weapon systems, aviation and shipbuilding. The three-day event was sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute. It hosted several panels in which expert speakers discussed challenges and changes facing the armed forces.
By Journalist Seaman Joseph Caballero, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific, and Gas Turbine System Technician 3rd Class Andrew Korenkov, Navy Compass