For many people, Memorial Day means family, barbecues and pool openings. The true meaning, however, is far bigger and deserves more than one day. For deployed Sailors aboard many of our ships, each and every day is Memorial Day; they serve upon namesake ships remembering the Sailors and Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. Every day these Sailors remember the service that came before them and honor the dead through their missions today – protecting and defending America on the world’s oceans. Take some time today to remember the brave.
We’ve compiled a short list below of some of the U.S. Navy’s memorial namesake ships operating forward, but it is in no way all-encompassing. After reading, let us know your favorite U.S. Navy memorial namesake ship in the comment section below.
USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112)
Remembering a hero: Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself June 28, 2005, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates.
Mission: Conducting operations with Pacific Fleet, USS Michael Murphy is designed with one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced and complex weapon systems to counter threats from air and sea.
USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58)
Remembering a hero: The frigate is named for Samuel B. Roberts, a Navy coxswain who was killed while evacuating the U.S. Marines during the battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.
Mission: Operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Roberts’s mission is to provide air, submarine, and surface protection for carrier battle groups, underway replenishment forces, amphibious groups, and convoys. Her unique combination of modern sensors and advanced weapon systems allow this ship to fight and survive in the highly complex threat environment of today.
USS Elrod (FFG 55)
Remembering a hero: Henry Talmage “Hammerin’ Hank” Elrod was the first aviator to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II for his heroism in the defense of Wake Island. Capt. Elrod was mortally wounded while protecting his men carrying ammunition to a gun emplacement during a beach defense mission after all U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
Mission: Currently operating forward in U.S. 6th Fleet to fulfill a protection of shipping mission as a anti-submarine warfare combatant for U.S. and allied amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups and merchant convoys.
USS Taylor (FFG 50)
Remembering a hero: Cmdr. Jesse J. Taylor was a naval aviator who was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his heroism in the Vietnam War. After learning of a downed fellow pilot, Cmdr. Taylor, although not his assigned mission, realized time was of the essence for any attempt to rescue and made the courageous decision to take command of the rescue effort. During the rescue mission, his plane caught fire and went down before he could abandon it. For his heroic determination to save a fellow pilot, even at great risk to his own life, Taylor was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Mission: USS Taylor, “Proud Defender,” is deployed in a multi-mission role in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility to contribute to regional maritime security and to support NATO operations and deployments throughout the region.