Navy to Christen Guided-Missile Destroyer Jack H. Lucas > US Department of Defense > Liberation


The Navy will christen the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, during a ceremony at 10 a.m. CDT Saturday, March 26 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Jacklyn Harold “Jack” Lucas, the ship’s namesake, served as a U.S. Navy in World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor at age 17, making him the youngest recipient. Private First Class Lucas received the award during the Iwo Jima campaign when he threw himself on two grenades to absorb the blast with his own body and protect his fellow Marines. Surviving the explosion, Lucas lived until June 5, 2008, when he died of cancer. The future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) is the first combat ship to bear his name.

Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, will deliver the keynote address at the christening ceremony. The Honorable Roger Wicker, U.S. Senator from Mississippi; the Honorable Steven Palazzo, U.S. Representative for Mississippi’s Fourth District; the Honorable Meredith Berger, serving as Under Secretary of the Navy; Major General Jason Bohm, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command; and Ms. Kari Wilkinson, President of Ingalls Shipbuilding, will also deliver remarks. In a centuries-old Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsors, Mrs. Ruby Lucas and Mrs. Catherine B. Reynolds, will christen the ship by smashing a bottle of sparkling wine through the bow.

“The future USS Jack H. Lucas will serve as a constant reminder of the immense impact that the actions taken by any sailor or sailor can truly have,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “Private First Class Lucas is a national hero and this ship and her crew will honor his legacy for decades to come.

The ship will be the 73rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and is one of 20 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The Flight III upgrade centers on the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar ( V) 1 (AMDR). It incorporates power supply and cooling capacity upgrades along with associated additional modifications to provide significantly improved combat capability to the fleet. AMDR enables Flight III ships to perform anti-aircraft warfare and ballistic missile defense simultaneously, addressing the Navy’s critical need for an improved Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability of surface combatants. The Flight III baseline begins with DDG 125-126 and continues with DDG 128 and follows on ships. The future USS Jack H. Lucas will be 509.5 feet long and 59 feet wide, with a displacement of 9,496 tons. The ship will be homeported in San Diego, California.

The DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG 51) is a multi-mission ship designed to operate offensively and defensively, independently, or as part of carrier battle groups, expeditionary groups and surface action groups in multi-threat environments. which include aerial, surface and subterranean threats. These ships will respond to low-intensity conflict/coastal and littoral warfare at sea and high seas conflict scenarios, providing or augmenting power projection, forward presence requirements and escort operations at sea. Flight III is the fourth flight upgrade in the class’s more than 30-year history, building on the proud heritage of the Flight I, II and IIA ships before it.

Media can direct questions to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. For more information on the Missile Destroyer programs, visit:

The event will be broadcast live for those unable to attend. The following link will become active approximately 15 minutes before the event (6:15 p.m. CDT): and on Facebook at:


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