SECNAV Names Newest Destroyer in Honor of U.S. Marine

Story Number: NNS180312-11Release Date: 3/12/2018 10:18:00 AM

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From SECNAV Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer named the next Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in honor of Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient Lance Cpl. Patrick Gallagher.

In 1966, Gallagher, who immigrated from Ballyhaunis, Ireland in 1962, joined the Marine Corps where he served in H-Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division during Operation Hastings in the Republic of Vietnam.

"Lance Corporal Gallagher is an American hero. His exemplary service in defense of our nation and his strength and sacrifice leaves an example for all servicemen and women to emulate," said Spencer. "His legacy will live on in the future USS Gallagher and his heroic actions will continue to inspire future Sailors and Marines." 

Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on July 18, 1966, when he selflessly threw his body on an incoming grenade, shielding his fellow Marines. He quickly pitched the grenade to a nearby river where it safely exploded out of harm's way, without injury to himself or others. Gallagher was killed in action one year later in DaLoc near De Nang on March 30, 1967. He is one of only 30 known Irish citizens to have died in the Vietnam conflict.

Arleigh-Burke class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. The future USS Gallagher (DDG 127) will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.

The ship will be constructed at Bath Iron Works, a division of General Dynamics in Maine. The ship will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.


From this point until the actual turning over of the ship to her commanding officer, the Naval Sea Systems Command staff will be in charge of DDG 127 (She will not receive the moniker of USS PATRICK GALLAGHER until she is commissioned in to the US Naval fleet.  At any time there are multiple ship building projects occurring simultaneously and not all are Destroyer class vessels, the constant replacement of inventory across the fleet requires a herculean effort, all managed by NavSea Command.

           There are eight vessels currently under development at various stages, from "Announced", Keel Laid, Under Construction and Fitting Out at the Bath, ME shipyards which has the contract to build DDG 127. This prestigious yard is also building yard of the Two Zumalt Class destroyers our navy's highest tech concept model, and Five separate Arleigh-Burlke Class destroyers that have estimated delivery dates between 2018 & 2024.


    The closet to completion in the same class as Patrick Gallagher is DDG116 (Thomas Hudner) which will be homeported in Massachusetts.

For a timing perspective DDG was ordered in 2012, Keel was laid Nov 2015, Christened April 2017 and went into to trails this year!. Of course, we do not know the line up and which ships will be next, but as the ship comes to reality, you will hear about here!

From a humble conversation, a movement began and took on the character of a young man from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. Driven by a need to share Patrick Gallagher's story, to remember his courageous actions and to remind all of us here that a life given in service to others is a life that must be remembered. 

So many individual efforts made this a joyful & optimistic cause, celebrated by our communities in Mayo, Long Island, PA, NYC, California and virtually around the world. We look forward to the next phase, hearing iron being molded, and watching together as them future Patrick Gallagher, goes to sea!

   Please help us to spread the word about this project through your social media contacts.  


   We hope to generate 18,250 signatures for our petition over the coming year, one for each DAY that has passed since his death fifty years ago. 


(This paragraph has been updated thanks only to the to the keen observation skills, the courage to go above and beyond, and his own willingness to risk being rebuffed or worse ignored to take a stand and alert this website that there was a typo indicating "year" instead of "day" in the sentence.  Through his selfless action MR. DAVID WALSH of Athy has saved visitors to our site from being confused as to the original intent of launching our petition, and he should be applauded for ensuring immediate action to rectify the error by ending his message pointing out our error with the somewhat omnious  "I will be watching" So this is both a public apology for our error, and our commendation for Mr David Walsh' community spirit for his effort to ensure a typo-free iweb. .  Thanks Dave!

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