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New Bath Iron Works destroyer christened after naval aviator

Saturday, a Bath Iron Works ship was christened after naval aviator Thomas Hudner who intentionally crash-landed his plane in an effort to save a fellow pilot during the Korean War. (David Hench, Bath Iron Works)

BATH (WGME) - Saturday, a Bath Iron Works ship was christened after naval aviator Thomas Hudner, who intentionally crash-landed his plane in an effort to save a fellow pilot during the Korean War.

Ensign Jesse Brown, the nation’s first African-American Navy pilot, was injured and pinned in the cockpit of a burning plane.

Hudner crash-landed his own plane in an attempt to reach and rescue Ensign Brown.

The christening ceremony for the U.S. Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer took place at Bath Iron Works’ shipyard.

Hudner, now retired, attended the ceremony. Speakers included Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Georgea F. Hudner, wife of the Thomas Hudner, along Barbara Joan Miller, wife of Vice Admiral Michael Miller, are the ship’s sponsors and officially christened the ship by breaking bottles of sparkling wine against its bow.

The keel for Thomas Hudner was laid on Nov. 16, 2015.

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