BATH, Maine – Precommissioning unit (PCU) Stockdale (DDG 106) was christened May 10 in Bath, Maine, by the ship’s sponsor Sybil Stockdale, the wife of the ship’s namesake.
Stockdale is named after Adm. James B. Stockdale. Adm. Stockdale earned the Medal of Honor for heroic leadership and resistance as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“John F. Kennedy reminded us that ‘A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.’ Today we preserve the name Stockdale through 9,200 tons of American diplomacy, capable of operating in any ocean at any time,” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Pat Walsh, the speaker at the ceremony.
Sybil, a recipient of the Navy Public Service Medal, led efforts to publicize the plight of POWs while her husband was in captivity in North Vietnam for more than seven years. She met with presidents, the secretary of state, and finally a North Vietnamese delegation in Paris, where she asked for her husband’s release.
“It is the absolute privilege of a lifetime to command the ship named after Adm. James Stockdale,” said Cmdr. Fred Kacher, the ship’s first commanding officer. “His legacy of courage, leadership and perseverance will inspire those who sail on Stockdale throughout the ship’s lifetime.”
Stockdale is the 56th Arleigh Burke class destroyer. The ship is currently being built by Bath Iron Works and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in early 2009. Stockdale will be homported in San Diego, which is where the Stockdale family resides.