The Navy is currently constructing Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers, a class of guided missile destroyer vessels. Destroyers are named for distinguished US Navy and US Marine Corps officers and enlisted men by the Secretary of the Navy. The Lake Erie Heritage Foundation is currently lobbying to name a new Navy Burke Class Destroyer the O.H. Perry, in honor of Commander Oliver Hazard Perry. It is our organization’s mission to continue to honor and memorialize Perry’s heroic acts during the War of 1812. Perry and his men fought for the American ideal. They died to keep us free. There is no better way to recognize and remember Perry’s heroic sacrifices than to name a naval ship in his honor.
United States Ship Naming Conventions
United Sates ship naming conventions for the US Navy were established by the Assistant Secretary of Navy, Theodore Roosevelt. Ship name recommendations are conditioned by such factors as the name categories for ship types now being built, as approved by the Secretary of the Navy; the distribution of geographic names of ships of the Fleet; names borne by previous ships which distinguished themselves in service; names recommended by individuals and groups; and names of naval leaders, national figures, and deceased members of the Navy and Marine Corps who have been honored for heroism in war or for extraordinary achievement in peace.
History of Naval Destroyer
Nicknamed the “Greyhounds of the Sea,” The destroyer evolved from the need of navies to counter a new ship which made a devastating debut in the Chilean Civil War of 1891 and in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894. This was the swift, small torpedo boat that could dash in close to the larger ships, loose their torpedoes and dash away. The world’s navies recognized the need for a counter weapon and so the torpedo boat destroyer – later just “destroyer” – was born. From the first U.S. destroyer commissioned in 1902 to the famous ships of World War II to the Spruance-class to the Arleigh Burke-class, the U.S. Navy’s destroyers have been evolving. And that evolution continues into the 21st century with the coming of the DD(X).
USS Johnson (DD-821)
SS Johnston (DD-821) was a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, the second Navy ship named for Lieutenant John V. Johnston of Cincinnati, Ohio served in the Navy during the American Civil War. He entered the Navy in September 1861 as First Master in gunboat St. Louis. He assisted in the Union gunboat attacks that captured strategic Fort Henry on the Tennessee River 6 February 1862. The night of 1 April 1862 he was the Navy commander of a combined Army-Navy boat expedition from St. Louis which landed and spiked the guns of Fort No. 1 above the Confederate stronghold, Island No. 10. He was promoted to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant for gallantry in this expedition. After joining in the bombardments of Vicksburg, he took command of Forrest Rose to patrol the Mississippi River and its tributaries. On 15 February 1864 his gunboat repelled the attack of confederate raiders, saving the town of Waterproof, Louisiana, and its federal garrison. LT Johnston resigned from the naval service 23 June 1864 and died 23 April 1912 at St. Louis, Missouri.
John Paul Jones (DDG-53)
USS John Paul Jones honors the Father of the American Navy. Born in Scotland, Commodore John Paul Jones earned the undying respect and admiration of his countrymen by his extraordinary courage, tactical genius and audacity during the American War for Independence. Without hesitation, he took the war at sea to the British, attacking their coastlines and capturing their ships in the British fleet’s home waters. These acts inspired and transformed the fledgling Colonial Navy from an upstart band of rebels to a recognized fighting force, providing critical justification for recognition of the colonies and their right to independence from Great Britain.