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DDG 113 John Finn

One of the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS John Finn (DDG 113), was brought to life and into the fleet July 15 at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor - a fitting commissioning venue, as the namesake's Dec. 7, 1941, heroic actions 30 miles away at Kaneohe Bay are the stuff of Navy legend.

The future USS John Finn (DDG 113) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard 28 March 2015. During launch the drydock was flooded allowing the 637-foot floating dock to slowly submerge until the ship was afloat. Once the drydock was fully submerged, the ship was pulled by tugs to HII's south berth where the ship will continue outfitting in preparation for test and activation and eventual delivery to the Navy. The next major milestone is the ship's Aegis system light off planned for later this year.

"This is the first DDG 51 class ship to launch in almost four years and we're both proud and excited with the progress the program is making," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "I look forward to John Finn joining the fleet and the other ships of her class to continue in the legacy of success that is the Arleigh Burke destroyer."

John Finn is the 63rd Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyer, and the first of the DDG 51 Flight IIA restart ships. HII had three DDG 51 destroyers under construction at the yard and an additional four under contract. The keel of DDG 113 was laid in November 2013, and the christening ceremony was planned for May 2. "DDG 51 production is in full swing at the shipyard," said Vandroff. "The Navy and shipbuilder are working closely together to ensure continued quality and value as production continues on the restart ships."

John Finn will be equipped with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapons system. Once operational, the multi-mission surface combatant will serve as an integral player in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense. DDG 51 Flight IIA ships will provide increased capabilities over previous flights of Arleigh Burke destroyers, including advances in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.


The destroyer was named in honor of Lt. John William Finn, who as a Chief Petty Officer served at Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 during the Japanese air raid that struck that facility and others on Oahu. While under heavy machine gun fire, chief aviation ordnanceman Finn manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Painfully wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post. After receiving first aid treatment, he overcame the severe pain of his injuries and returned to the squadron area to supervise the rearming of returning planes.

At age 100, Finn was the oldest surviving recipient of the nation’s highest medal for valor and the only recipient still alive among those who received the medal for actions during the attack of Dec. 7, 1941. In June 1942, Finn was temporarily commissioned as an Ensign, rising in rank to Lieutenant two years later.

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Page last modified: 20-10-2018 17:34:52 ZULU