The USS Ralph Johnson was launched in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in December.

The USS Ralph Johnson was launched in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in December.

Navy assigns new destroyer, USS Ralph Johnson, to Everett

  • By Dan Catchpole Herald Writer
  • Monday, February 29, 2016 4:40pm
  • Local News

EVERETT — The U.S. Navy plans to send a fourth destroyer to Naval Station Everett.

The addition, the USS Ralph Johnson, is so new that it is still under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The guided-missile destroyer is slated to arrive in Everett in April 2017, a spokeswoman for Sen. Patty Murray said.

The ship’s keel was laid down in 2014, and it was floated for the first time in December 2015. Construction is to finish this year. It will be the 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The Johnson will have more than 300 crew members, according to the Navy.

The ship is named after Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for sacrificing himself to save another Marine. During a firefight in Vietnam in 1968, the 29-year-old dove on an enemy grenade that landed in his foxhole. The blast killed him, but saved the life the man next to him, according to his citation.

The USS Ralph Johnson will join three other destroyers earmarked for Naval Station Everett: the USS Gridley, USS Sampson and USS Kidd. All three are scheduled to arrive in 2016.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454;; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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