DDG 125 keel authenticated

PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- Ingalls Shipbuilding authenticated the keel of the Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), a guided missile destroyer named for World War II’s youngest Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. The yard officially started construction on the ship in May 2018, but authenticating the ship's keel symbolically recognises the joining of modular components and represents the ceremonial beginning of the ship. The Flight III ships will be the first to be outfitted with the Raytheon AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and the Aegis Combat System Baseline 10, which will enhance the ship's ability to perform simultaneous air and ballistic missile defence (BMD) missions, an increasingly important role for the USN. At the age of 14, Jack Lucas forged his mother’s signature on enlistment papers to join the Marines. Three years later Lucas stowed away on the USS Deuel to join the U.S. invasion of Iwo Jima. During a close-quarter firefight with 11 Japanese soldiers, Lucas saved three of his fellow Marines when he threw himself on one of two grenades while simultaneously grabbing the other and pulling it under his body. One grenade exploded, the other never detonated, leaving Lucas with severe wounds. He was conscious, but barely alive. His three fellow Marines were unharmed, while the 11 Japanese were killed. Believing Lucas dead, his comrades left the area. Lucas was later found by Marines from another passing unit. Lucas would ultimately undergo a total of 21 surgeries and, for the remainder of his life, he would carry 200 pieces of metal in his body. (Source: gulflive, Janes, 11/08/19)

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