A Message from the Commissioning Committee Chair
The USS THOMAS HUDNER Commissioning Committee began to meet in January 2015 to work with the US Navy to plan the events surrounding the commissioning of a new US Navy destroyer named in honor of one our nation’s great heroes, Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., US Navy (Retired).
The commissioning ceremony is a time-honored event in the life of every US Navy ship. Dignitaries, other special honored guests, and the general public are welcomed to a ceremony steeped in tradition in which the vessel becomes a United States Ship and its Commanding Officer and crew formally come aboard and bring the ship to life.
While the US Navy underwrites many aspects of the commissioning, the host city’s committee takes responsibility for planning and supporting events and activities for the crew and their families during their visit to Boston. We also hope to make a lasting impact on her crew by endowing a scholarship fund in Captain Hudner’s name as well as provide opportunities for school children to learn the inspiring story of this American hero.
The impressive festivities surrounding the week-long celebration will inspire everyone who participates. As you learn more about Captain Hudner, the Ship, and our plans for the commissioning, I hope you will consider generously supporting our efforts.
CAPT Thomas V. Hennessey, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Chair, USS THOMAS HUDNER Commissioning Committee
A Message from the Honorary Committee Chairs
"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
- President John F. Kennedy
It is an enormous honor for us to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the USS THOMAS HUDNER Commissioning Committee. We have known Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. for many years and he is certainly one of the great men President Kennedy
wanted our nation to hold in esteem. It is fitting that an ARLEIGH BURKE class destroyer be named in his honor. Captain
Hudner is a recipient of our nation’s highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, award by President Truman on April 13 1951 for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” for crash landing his fighter plane in an attempt to rescue his downed element leader, Jesse L. Brown. Born and raised in Fall River, he graduated from Phillips Academy and the US Naval Academy. He served our nation in the US Navy for 27 years. Following his retirement, he continued to serve, this time as Commissioner for Veterans Services for our Commonwealth for eight years.
Please join with us in supporting and honoring this great man and ensuring that his legacy lives on through the USS THOMAS
Nancy Kelleher Richard M. Kelleher
Honorary Committee Co-Chair Honorary Committee Co-Chair