BOSTON (CBS) – WBZ got a special tour of the Navy’s newest warship, named in honor of a Massachusetts man and Korean War hero.
The USS Thomas Hudner is docked in Boston in preparation for this weekend’s commissioning ceremony and the memory and bravery of Captain Hudner inspires the crew.
The Hudner is nearly two football fields long, can carry half a million gallons of gas and travel at a top speed of about 35 mph. “It’s a tremendous honor to carry that name, Thomas Hudner,” says Commanding Officer Nathan Scherry.
The Navy’s latest destroyer is named in honor of Navy pilot Capt. Thomas Hudner, a Fall River native and longtime Concord resident.
In 1950, while flying a mission during the Korean War, Hudner’s friend Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African American pilot, was shot down. Hudner intentionally crash landed his own plane on a snowy mountain in an attempt to save Brown. But it was too late. Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.
“He was a very selfless person, and I feel that his selflessness resonates throughout the crew,” says Chief Frank Edmands, a crew member from Swampscott.
Capt. Hudner’s presence is integrated throughout the ship, including a mural in the mess hall.
Hudner died last year, but his family will attend Saturday’s commissioning ceremony.
“This is amazing. It’s great to be on my first ship and to have a namesake who’s from the Boston area, who’s from New England, it kind of ties it all together,” says Petty Officer Jeffrey Russell a crew member from Vermont.
The ship was also built in New England, at the General Dynamics Iron Works in Bath, Maine. After sea trials, the Hudner will be ready for duty.