This initial navy rendering of the ship will have to be revised to carry the full future name of “USS Patrick Gallagher.”
By Ray O’Hanlon
When it was announced last month that a U.S. Navy destroyer would be named after County Mayo-born Vietnam War hero, Patrick Gallagher, it was initially unclear whether the future ship would be named the “USS Gallagher” or “USS Patrick Gallagher.”
The Navy has answered the question by agreeing to the family’s request for a full naming.
So the “USS Patrick Gallagher” will set sail a few years from now.
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.
Meanwhile, construction of the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, officially listed as DDG 127, is set to commence this summer at Bath Iron Works in Maine.
The naming of the ship after Marine Corporal Gallagher, who won the Navy Cross for his gallantry only to be killed at the very end of his tour of duty, has been welcomed by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
In a statement, the AOH said in part: “The Ancient Order of Hibernians wish to express their gratitude to Senator Charles Schumer and Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer for their announcement that the Navy’s newest Destroyer, DDG-127, shall be christened in fitting commemoration of the bravery and sacrifice that Corporal Patrick Gallagher, USMC, displayed during the Vietnam War.
“Cpl. Gallagher, an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland was awarded the Navy Cross in recognition of his selfless bravery and would later be killed in that conflict just days before he was scheduled to return home.
“Cpl. Gallagher is symbolic of the 21 other immigrants whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam war memorial who though born in Ireland made the ultimate sacrifice for America; in naming a destroyer for Cpl. Gallagher, Senator Schumer and Secretary Spencer have worthily honored them all.”
The Hibernians took note of the fact that the new ship will be joining longer serving ones named after Irish and Irish American heroes.
Said the statement: “We note that the U.S.S. Gallagher will join her sister ships the U.S.S. Barry, named for Wexford immigrant Commodore John Barry who holds commission No. 1 in the United States Navy, and the U.S.S Michael Murphy, named for a descendent of Irish immigrants who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in our Nation’s latest conflict.
“In every war, in every conflict, Irish American men and women have been stalwart in defense of the America that has offered them so much.
“We again thank Senator Schumer and Secretary Spencer for rightfully commemorating Cpl. Gallagher in naming a destroyer after him, a ship that like Cpl. Gallagher which will willingly go into harm’s way to protect the nation we call home.”