New Destroyer to be Christened

Friday, January 03, 2003
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Walter F. Doran, USN, will be the principal speaker for a ceremony here Jan. 11 honoring a Navy destroyerman as the U.S. Navy's newest Aegis guided missile destroyer is christened at Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Ship Systems sector. The new ship, designated DDG 93, will be officially christened with the name Chung-Hoon to honor Rear Adm. Gordon P. 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.

Chung-Hoon's niece, Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon of Hawaii, has been selected by the Navy as Ship's Sponsor for DDG 93, and will christen the new destroyer in his honor at the conclusion of the ceremony. The Matron of Honor is Nancy Holt of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Maid of Honor is Asti Punana Sorge' of Waianae, Hawaii, the sponsor's cousin and daughter, respectively. The U.S. Navy Band from New Orleans, La., will entertain guests before and during the ceremony. The Rev. Robert L. Kates, retired, First United Methodist Church, Pascagoula, will deliver the ceremony's invocation. The Pascagoula High School NJROTC Color Guard will participate in the festivities as well. In addition to Adm. Doran, ceremony participants will include Rear Adm. William W. Cobb Jr., USN, program executive officer for Theater Surface Combatants; Perry White, stepson of Rear Adm. Chung-Hoon; Capt. Philip N. Johnson, USN, supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, Pascagoula; and Dr. Philip A. Dur, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of the company's Ship Systems sector. In announcing his decision to name DDG 93 Chung-Hoon, then-Navy Secretary Richard Danzig remarked, "The destroyer Chung-Hoon commemorates a triumph of the human spirit. Commander (later Rear Admiral) Chung-Hoon secured two victories by his courage and tenacity in the face of catastrophic damage to his own ship. The officers and crew of DDG 93 will proudly serve on a ship that bears this name."

In the spring of 1945, Chung-Hoon, in command of Sigsbee, assisted in the destruction of 20 enemy planes while screening a carrier strike force off the Japanese island of Kyushu. On April 14, 1945, while on radar picket station off Okinawa, a kamikaze crashed into Sigsbee, reducing her starboard engine to five knots and knocking out the ship's port engine and steering control. Despite the damage, Chung-Hoon valiantly kept his antiaircraft batteries delivering "prolonged and effective fire" against the continuing enemy air attack while simultaneously directing the damage control efforts that allowed Sigsbee to make port under her own power. He retired in 1959. Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) 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.

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