YOKOSUKA, Japan - Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) celebrated 100 years of naval aviation with a ceremony honoring Capt. Henry Mustin, Dec. 7.
Mustin became one of the Navy's youngest commanding officers in 1898 during the Philippine Insurrection.
“Henry Mustin was one of the initial naval aviators and this ship was named after him, and his children who continued his legacy to commemorate his accomplishments,” said Rear Adm. John Haley, Commander Task Force 70.
At the age of 39, Mustin learned to fly and became one of the first officially recognized naval aviators in what would come to be a long and prestigious line that continues to this day.
“In a time when flying was uncommon, he had the vision to innovate and adapt,” said Haley. “One of his most recognizable achievements was to be the first person to make a shipborne catapult launch of an aircraft from the battleship USS North Carolina (AB 2) in 1915. “
Among his many accomplishments, Mustin helped design the internationally recognizable gold aviator’s wings, worn by all naval pilots and served as the first commandant of Aeronautic Station Pensacola, now Naval Air Station Pensacola.
“Today we celebrated the ships namesake, Henry Mustin, a founder of naval aviation,” said Cmdr. Scott Tait, commanding officer of USS Mustin. “I think it is important for the crew to know their heritage and know that what they do is more than just a job.”