On June 2, 2016, three members of the USS THOMAS HUDNER Commissioning Committee visited the Pre-Commissioning Unit at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine and presented the first copies of Adam Makos' book Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice to STGCS Van Hemel and CDR Nathan Scherry. The Commissioning Committee has purchased a copy of Captain Hudner's biography, for each crew member. The crew will receive the book when they check in to the pre-commissioning unit in Bath, ME. Each book has been autographed by author Adam Makos.
On Friday, March 31, 2017, members of the commissioning committee who were in Bath, Maine for the Mast Stepping Ceremony had the opportunity to meet the crew members of the Pre-Commissioning Unit. During the meeting, the commissioning committee presented each crew member with the committee's coin for the christening the following day and presented the PCU with two framed prints of artwork depicting Captain Hudner crash landing his plane to save Ensign Jesse Brown and Captain Hudner and Ensign Brown taking off from the USS LEYTE for their mission of Chosin Reservoir. These prints will hang in the PCU's offices until the ship is delivered to the Navy, at which time they will be hung on board the ship.
On Saturday, October 21, 2017, members of the commissioning committee set-up a table in the Charlestown Navy Yard as part of a public festival celebrating the 242nd birthday of the United States Navy and the 220th birthday of USS CONSTITUTION, "Old Ironsides." The committee members were joined by two members of the THOMAS HUDNER's crew. We were able to raise awareness in the community about the upcoming commissioning ceremony and collect names and contact information from those interested in receiving invitations to the commissioning ceremony in September 2018.
On Monday, December 4, 2017, the commissioning committee arranged to have a full set of National Ensigns and Jacks for USS THOMAS HUDNER flown over USS CONSTITUTION to mark the 67th anniversary of the action for which CAPT Thomas Hudner received the Medal of Honor. Click here to see additional photos from the December 4th flag flying.
On Friday, June 15, 2018, members of the USS THOMAS HUDNER Commissioning Committee joined the crew of USS THOMAS HUDNER, family members of Captain Hudner, and the teams from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and SUPSHIP Bath for the formal ceremony as the US Navy took delivery of future USS THOMAS HUDNER from the shipbuilder. During the ceremony, Committee Chairman, CAPT Thomas Hennessey, Jr., USN (Ret.) presented the set of National Ensigns and Jacks the Committee had flown over USS CONSTITUTION and by VFA-32, Captain Hudner's former squadron. These were the first National Ensign and Jack to be flown over the Ship.