Two new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the Ralph Johnson and the Patrick Gallagher, have been named after Vietnam War Marine Corps veterans.
The destroyer Ralph Johnson is headed to Charleston, South Carolina, where on March 24, it will be the latest destroyer to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy, according to the Sun Herald. It will then make its way to its home port of Everett, Washington.
The destroyer, which set sail on Friday from Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is named after Medal of Honor recipient Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson.
On March 5, 1968, at the age of 19, Johnson threw his body over a grenade to block his fellow Marines from the blast. He died instantly, and in 1970, was posthumously honored by President Richard Nixon.
The next Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be built is also named after a Vietnam War Marine Corps veteran, according to a Navy press release, and will be constructed at Bath Iron Works, a division of General Dynamics in Maine.
The destroyer Patrick Gallagher will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously.
On July 18, 1966, Lance Cpl. Patrick Gallagher threw his body on an incoming grenade before throwing it into a nearby river where it exploded without harming him or his fellow Marines.
Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery. He was killed in action one year later.