Hundreds brave snow for christening of USS Hudner

Christening USS Thomas Hudner.

BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Despite frigid temperatures and falling snow, hundreds braved the weather for an outdoor christening ceremony of the Thomas Hudner DDG 116 at Bath Iron Works.

Captain Thomas Hudner, a navy veteran, was awarded the medal of honor from President Truman in 1951 for displaying uncommon valor in the Korean War.

Captain Hudner attempted to rescue the first African-American naval aviator, Ensign Jesse L. Brown when there was an attack on his aircraft.

Hudner intentionally crashed his aircraft to try and help his fellow aviator - unfortunately, the effort was unsuccessful.

Several prominent military and political figures attended today's event - including Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Congressman Bruce Poliquin, and retired Massachusetts senator Scott Brown.

The Thomas Hudner DDG 116 is 510 feet long and 9,200 tons, and was built at BIW.

All of Maine's congressional delegatoin gave speeches.

Here's what Senator Collins had to say.  "You make 'Bath built is best built' not merely a slogan, but a way of life. All who serve on this ship inherit a proud legacy. Whatever challenges the future may bring, I am confident that its sailors will enhance that legacy. Wherever the Thomas Hudner sails, a grateful nation will go with her."

Police arrested 9 protesters ahead of the event and charged them with criminal trespassing when they refused to leave the property.

They were part of an organized protest against war.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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