Ship Builder/Welder (right) requests a William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) christening invitation from Lawrence crew member. The ship’s crew assisted in getting invitations to shipbuilders.
Ship superintendent, “I plan to attend the christening because I’ve been a part of this ship since it first began. It’s the future of the shipyard. It must meet cost and schedule and be as strong as the USS Cole to defend America.”
Outside machinist, “I’m building key defensive weapons, the vertical launch, torpedoes and five-inch gun on DDG 110. One day my family or friends may serve on this ship, so I’m doing my part to ensure it’s a quality ship and will bring them home safely.”
1st class electrician, “Teaming up and producing a quality ship will help our company maintain the respect we deserve. I plan on attending the christening because I admire Adm. Lawrence for the things he went through and his support for women in uniform.”
ombination electrician, “I built the radar system and am making sure this is a good quality ship for our men and women in uniform, like my cousin who’s a U.S. Marine.”
The christening of William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), the newest Aegis guided missile destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, is happening Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. The event’s keynote speaker will be businessman and former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. Invitations were distributed to DDG 110 shipbuilders as they departed for lunch Monday. To request a ticket, please call Special Events (228) 935-1256. Named for Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, DDG 110 will serve as a lasting tribute to the admiral’s long and distinguished career.
As a midshipman, Lawrence was president of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1951. Perot, then a fellow midshipman, assisted him in writing the Honor Standards used by midshipmen today. Lawrence was the first U.S. Navy aviator to fly twice the speed of sound in Navy equipment. He flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam, where he was shot down and spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war. After his release, Lawrence went on to serve as the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he championed equality for women in uniform. Lawrence retired as Chief of Naval Personnel in 1986 and died Dec. 2, 2005.
The ship’s sponsors include Lawrence’s wife, Diane Wilcox Lawrence; and his two daughters, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Wendy B. Lawrence, an astronaut on four NASA shuttle missions, and Dr. Laurie Macpherson Lawrence, assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical School.