The United States Navy has christened its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr., during a ceremony held on July 29 at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

The ship is named after retired Marine Corps Col. Harvey C. Barnum Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Vietnam War during an action outside Ky Phu, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam.

The ceremony was attended by Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro, who delivered the principal address. He commended Barnum for his service to the country and hoped that the ship carrying his name would take forth his spirit and story forever.

The keel for the USS Harvey C. Barnum, Jr was also ceremoniously laid at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard on April 6. 

The USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. is the first US Navy ship to honour Barnum. The ship’s sponsor is Barnum’s wife, Martha Hill, who christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow in a time-honoured Navy tradition.

The ship will be an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the backbone of the US Navy’s surface fleet, protecting America around the globe. These multi-mission ships conduct various operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface domains.

In June this year, the US Navy commissioned the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120). The commissioning of the guided missile destroyer was held at a ceremony held in Baltimore, Maryland.

The ship’s commissioning also paid tribute to the late Senator Carl M. Levin, who served as an advocate for the armed services during his 36-year tenure in the US Senate.

The recent, consistent commissioning of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers represents the ongoing commitment of the US Navy to maintain a technologically advanced and capable fleet.