Bath Iron Works’ 37th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), was christened Saturday by the namesake’s widow, Irene Inouye. Honolulu Navy League's Sr. Vice-President Bill Kearns attended the christening and celebrated with the large Hawaii delegation in attendance.
Daniel Inouye was a World War II hero who went on to become the first Japanese-American elected to Congress. He served in the Senate for 50 years and was the second-longest-serving senator in history. He died in 2012 after representing the people of Hawaii since it became the 50th state in 1962.
Inouye visited Bath Iron Works in 1961, while serving in the U.S. House, for the launching of the USS Leahy, she noted. He was a strong supporter of naval sea power, she said.
“I don’t think Dan could have imagined how much of an impact that he would have in the 50 years that he served in the Senate,” said his widow, Irene Inouye. The USS Inouye will be commissioned and home ported in Honolulu once completed.