Since 2015 a committee has been working to plan the commissioning ceremony for the newest destroyer for the US Navy, USS THOMAS HUDNER (DDG 116), an ARLEIGH BURKE-class destroyer that has been under construction at Bath Iron Works since November 2012.

The Ship is named for Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., US Navy (Retired), a former naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient. Hudner grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1946. As a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in December 1950, he attempted to rescue his element leader, Ensign Jesse Brown, the first African American naval combat aviator, who crash landed as a result of enemy fire behind enemy lines near Chosin Reservoir in sub-zero weather. For his selfless action he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman in April 1951. Captain Hudner remained in the Navy for another 22 years before retiring in 1973 with the rank of Captain. He went on to work as a management consultant, served as president of the regional USO, and served as the Commissioner of Veteran Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1991-1999. As you may have seen in the news last November, Captain Hudner passed away.

The Commissioning Committee is sponsoring the receptions and events around the Commissioning, planning activities for the crew and their families during the week that the Ship is in Boston, and establishing a scholarship fund in Captain Hudner’s memory for the Ship’s crew members and their families. They are also responsible for raising awareness about the commissioning and coordinating the public guest list in collaboration with the Navy.

The commissioning ceremony is FREE and open to the public. If you would like to receive an invitation to attend the ceremony in early-December, please visit the commissioning committee’s website to request an invitation:

Requesting an invitation online now is not a commitment to attend the ceremony in December. If you fill out the online form, an invitations will be mailed directly to you by the Department of the Navy in late-summer or early-fall, at which time you can decide whether you would like to attend and respond to request tickets. Please feel free to browse the Commissioning Committee’s website and learn more about Captain Hudner as well as the crew of the Ship and the Committee’s plans and efforts in support of the Ship.