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Future US Navy ship to be named after first Filipino in Navy to receive Medal of Honor

Posted at 10:49 AM, May 19, 2022

(KGTV) – A future Navy ship will be named after the first Filipino in the U.S. Navy to receive the Medal of Honor.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said a yet-to-be-built Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named the USS Telesforo Trinidad, in recognition of Fireman 2nd Class Telesforo De La Cruz Trinidad.

The Philippine-born Trinidad was credited for saving two fellow sailors after an explosion aboard the USS San Diego on Jan 21, 1915. Trinidad, who was 24 at the time of the incident, rescued the two shipmates despite suffering major injuries.

The Navy awarded Trinidad the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.

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Trinidad died in 1968 at the age of 77.

In a statement, Del Toro said, “My first time learning about Petty Officer Trinidad’s story was as a midshipman at the Naval Academy and since being sworn in as Secretary, I have wanted to honor his heroic actions by naming a ship after him.

This ship and her future crew will be a critical piece in strengthening our maritime superiority while also emphasizing the rich culture and history of our naval heritage.”

The secretary added, “I am pleased to honor Trinidad’s life and legacy today – especially during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Having a ship named after such a significant figure highlights our diverse culture and that our people will always be our strategic advantage against any adversary.

I hope the naming of this ship is a beacon for not only Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders but for all our Sailors, Marines, and civilians who serve across the Department of the Navy. The service and sacrifice of these men and women have made our military and our nation stronger and better.”