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US Navy to name DDG130 after Medal of Honor William Charette


A Medal of Honor recipient from Michigan will have a guided-missile destroyer named after him, the United States Navy announced on Monday 18th of March. The future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, DDG 130, will be named in honor of Hospital Corpsman Master Chief William Charette, who fell on a grenade to shield a wounded Marine during a battle in North Korea on March 27, 1953.


US Navy to name DDG130 after Medal of Honor William Charette President Dwight D. Eisenhower poses with Hospital Corpsman Third Class William R. Charette (right of the picture), U.S. Navy, honored for his actions in Korea on 17 March 1953 (Picture source : US Naval History and Heritage Command)


The future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, DDG 130, will be named in honor of Hospital Corpsman Master Chief William Charette, a native of Ludington, who fell on a grenade to shield a wounded Marine during a battle in North Korea on March 27, 1953.

"The actions of Hospital Corpsman William Charette will neither be forgotten or diminished," Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a statement. "Charette put himself at extreme risk during intense combat to render aid to Marines in need. His efforts saved lives and I am honored that his legacy will live on in the future USS William Charette."

Charette joined the Navy in 1951 and served in the Korean War in the Fleet Marine Force as a hospital corpsman attached to Company F, Third Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. His heroic actions took place when Chinese soldiers in North Korea attacked and overran two of three Marine hill outposts.

During a counterattack, an enemy grenade landed near Charette, who was providing aid to a wounded Marine. Charette placed himself on top of the Marine to shield him from the explosion. The blast rendered Charette unconscious but when he awoke, he continued to aid Marines, including using torn parts of his uniform in order to dress battle wounds, his own battle vest to shield a wounded Marine, and exposing himself to incoming rounds in order to carry wounded Marines to safety.

He died on March 18, 2012, due to complications from heart surgery.

The future USS William Charette will be constructed at Bath Iron Works (division of General Dynamics) and will be a Flight III destroyer, capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. It will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.