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Navy confirms USS Gallagher is on the way

The artistic impression of the future USS Gallagher posted on the Navy Department’s website


By Ray O’Hanlon

Senator Charles Schumer announced the future launching of the USS Patrick Gallagher at a gathering beside the Hudson River on Monday.

As he was doing so the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, was doing the same in Washington, D.C.

A report on the Department of Navy website stated that Secretary 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.”

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Along with the story, the website carried an artistic impression of the future USS Gallagher.

The story stated that 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 Secretary Spencer.

"His legacy will live on in the future USS Gallagher and his heroic actions will continue to inspire future Sailors and Marines."

The report continued: “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, the report stated, 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.”

The future ship has been variously reported as the “USS Patrick Gallagher” and the “USS Gallagher.” The artistic impression uses just the surname.

Another Arleigh-Burke class destroyer well known to Echo readers is the USS Michael Murphy, often referred to as simply “The Murph.”

The Michael Murphy is based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The future homeport for the Gallagher has not yet been revealed.