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    Future Destroyer Will Honor Vietnam War Hero

    Future Destroyer Will Honor Vietnam War Hero

    Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced Wednesday that one of the service's , as-yet-unbuilt destroyers will be named after Medal of Honor recipient Thomas Gunning Kelley.

    Del Toro, who was speaking to an audience at the annual Surface Navy Association conference held in Arlington, Virginia, paused at the end of his prepared remarks and said he had a “very special announcement.”

    With Kelley listening in via speakerphone, the Navy's top boss recounted the sailor's heroic actions in in 1968 — his voice cracking slightly at times — before finally saying that “it is with great admiration and great pride … I am announcing the naming of DDG-140 after Captain Thomas Gunning Kelley.” The room erupted with applause and a standing ovation.

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    Kelley's citation says that the then-lieutenant was serving as commander of River Assault Division 152 and eight assault craft that were charged with extracting a company of infantry from a canal bank in Kien Hoa Province.

    During the evacuation, the loading ramp on one of the troop carriers failed, just as Viet Cong forces opened fire.

    According to the citation and Del Toro, Kelley sprang into action and boldly maneuvered the ship he was in to the exposed side of the protective cordon in “direct line with the enemy's fire, and ordered the monitor to…

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