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DDG 92 Momsen

The mission of Momsen will be to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protection for the Navy's aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships and independent operations as necessary. DDG 91 will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously.

The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer Momsen was christened on August 9, 2003, at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. USS MOMSEN was scheduled to be commissioned early spring of 2004, but in fact was commissioned on August 28, 2004 in Panama City, Florida.

Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Vice Adm. Albert Konetzni delivered the ceremony's principal address for the ship named to honor Vice Adm. Charles Bowers "Swede" Momsen. Momsen's daughter, Evelyn Momsen Hailey, served as ship's sponsor.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, delivered the ceremony's principal address. Evelyn Momsen Hailey, daughter of the ship's namesake served as ship's sponsor. Cmdr. Edward F. Kenyon, a native of Binghamton, N.Y., and a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served as the ship's first commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 380 officers and enlisted personnel. One of those crewmembers will be Petty Officer Second Class AndrewHailey, the great-grandson of Momsen.

The ship has a crew of approximately 380 officers and enlisted personnel. Momsen is 511 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, a navigational draft of 33 feet and four gas-turbine engines power the 9,200-ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots. It is the 42nd ship of 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers authorized by Congress, and the 23th to be built by Bath Iron Works.

As a member of the Pacific Fleet, Momsen will be homeported in Everett, Wash.

Namesake

Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced the decision to name the 42nd ship of the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers, "Momsen."

The name Momsen (DDG 92) will honor retired Navy Vice Adm. Charles Bowers "Swede" Momsen, who is best known for his efforts in the successful rescue of 33 crew members and the subsequent salvage of submarine USS Squalus after she sank in 240 feet of water in May 1939. He received a commendation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for these actions.

Born in Flushing, N.Y., on June 21, 1896, Momsen attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in June 1919. Initially serving on battleships, he graduated from the U.S. Submarine School in January 1922, and subsequently commanded three submarines from 1923 to 1927. While serving with the Submarine Safety Test Unit aboard the submarine S-4, he developed a submarine escape breathing apparatus that became known as the "Momsen Lung." He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for developing and personally testing the device at a depth of 200 feet. Although this invention made him famous, he had many other noteworthy achievements during his naval career.

While serving as officer in charge of Experimental Diving at the Washington Navy Yard, he developed a new set of decompression tables and supported proposals for the use of a helium and oxygen air mixture in deep diving operations. During World War II, he supervised tests to determine why many torpedoes were not exploding. In one instance, he dived into the water to help recover a dangerous, live torpedo that had bounced off a target. Momsen earned a Navy Cross as commander of an attack group of submarines in Japanese-controlled waters of the East China Sea. Using an attack pattern he developed, the submarines sank five Japanese ships and damaged eight others. He earned a Legion of Merit for commanding the U.S. Navy's first wolf pack in enemy waters from Feb. 1943 to June 1944. In November 1945, he directed a fleet of nearly 200 surplus Army and Navy ships, manned by Japanese crews, that evacuated the first of nearly six million Japanese from China Manchuria, Formosa and Pacific islands.

Momsen later served as assistant chief of Naval Operations for Undersea Warfare and then became Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet. Before retiring in September 1955, on the basis of combat awards, he was promoted to Vice Admiral. Momsen died May 25, 1967.

Danzig said, "Vice Adm. Swede Momsen personified the traits that we prize most in our naval leaders -- an innovative and sharp mind, a passionate spirit, and a profound caring for shipmates -- all of which came together in his success at pushing the Navy to new heights in technological and operational success. His extraordinary courage and achievements gave hope to a whole generation of mariners where there had been none before. His legacy is one that links all of us together and will live on in the namesake of this great ship."




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