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Destroyer to be built at Bath Iron Works will bear Medal of Honor recipient, Korean War hero’s name

USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) at General Dynamic-Bath Iron Works. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works)

The U.S. Navy announced Monday that the DDG 130, to be built at Bath Iron Works, will be named for Hospital Corpsman Master Chief William Charette, a Medal of Honor recipient.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was awarded to the Maine shipyard in September 2018as part of a multi-year procurement.

Charette, who was from Ludington, Michigan, 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, according to the Navy.

Charette was presented the Medal of Honor for his actions on March 27, 1953, when he threw himself on top of an enemy grenade to protect a wounded Marine from the explosion in North Korea, according to the Navy.

The blast knocked Charette unconscious. When he awoke, he continued to care for other Marines, using torn parts of his uniform to dress wounds and his battle vest to shield a wounded Marine. Amid enemy gunfire, he carried wounded Marines to safety.

“The actions of Hospital Corpsman William Charette will neither be forgotten or diminished,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said. “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 [DDG 130].”

Of five enlisted sailors — all hospital corpsman attached to the Marine Corps — to receive the Medal of Honor for actions during the Korean War, only Charette was alive to receive the honor. He died on March 18, 2012, due to complications from heart surgery.


© 2019 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.