Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy is gone, but memories of him live on as the United States Navy paid homage by giving their newest warship his name.
The USS Michael Murphy DDG-112 is the 62nd ship of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and it was commissioned October 6.
Its maiden port of call was Bridgetown, and this morning the media received a very detailed tour of the vessel, which was considered the most advanced state-of-the-art warship in the US Navy’s fleet.
With a complement of 23 officers and 300 enlisted personnel on board, the destroyer is 510 feet long. It boasts an extensive array of weapons, supported by an ultra-modern surveillance and guidance system that allows it to engage multiple targets simultaneously. It also comes equipped with two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters.
The vessel arrived in Barbados on Tuesday en route to its home port in Hawaii.
Last night the USS Michael Murphy hosted a reception which was attended by a number of local officials, including Minister of Foreign Affair Senator Maxine McClean, Minister of Trade and Commerce Senator Haynesly Benn, and Chief Justice Marston Gibson, who dined with the crew.
The ship was christened on Murphy’s birthday, May 7 last year. He and 17 other Americans were killed in 2005 during a mission near Asadabad, Afghanistan after they were overwhelmed by Taliban forces.
A Navy SEAL, Murphy was the first person to be awarded the military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honour, for actions during the war and was also the first member of the US Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War. Other posthumous awards included the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
A post office, a combat training pool at Naval Station Newport, and a park have also been named in his honour.
The ship leaves on Saturday. (KC)