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What’s the deal with the giant ship in Tampa?

The USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), a new Navy guided-missile destroyer, is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Tampa. (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

The guided missile destroyer USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) is being commissioned in the Port of Tampa on Saturday. On Wednesday, a pinning ceremony for the Jack H Lucas’ newest chief petty officers, including its commanding officers, was held.

Chief Quartermaster Danielle Rene Contreras, 29, of Los Angeles, becomes emotional during a pinning ceremony at the USS Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) the Navy’s new guided-missile destroyer (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

Saturday’s ceremony happens at 10 a.m. and can be viewed online at

Sailors and crew of the USS Jack H Lucas cheer for newly pinned chiefs during a pinning ceremony (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

The 511-foot-long ship is named for Pfc. Jack Lucas, according to a news release. He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II, earning the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Iwo Jima, when he was just 17 years old. He is the youngest Marine, and the youngest service member in World War II, to be awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor. In 1961, he returned to military service as a captain in the U.S. Army and trained younger troops headed for Vietnam. Lucas died on June 5, 2008, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.


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