US Navy to christen destroyer Ralph Johnson

The U.S. Navy is set to christen the newest Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) during an April 2 ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding facilities in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

U.S. Navy’s 64th destroyer Ralph Johnson is the 30th destroyer Huntington Ingalls Industries has built.

The $697.6 million contract for the build of this destroyer was awarded in September 2011 while construction started in September 2014, when the ship’s keel was authenticated.

USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard December 12, 2015. The ship was translated from the land level facility to the drydock which was slowly flooded until the ship was afloat. You can watch the video of the operation here.

The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.