December 1, 2020 – General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated the start of fabrication of the future USS William Charette (DDG 130) Monday at the Structural Fabrication Facility in East Brunswick.
DDG 130 is the 43rd of its class built in Bath and second Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer to start construction at Bath Iron Works. Advancements in radar and combat systems will make Flight III Arleigh Burkes the most technologically advanced surface combatant in the world. Longtime employees Sandy Haley and Randy Bertrand were selected to activate the burning machine to cut the first steel for the ship.
Dirk Lesko, President of Bath Iron Works, said the Navy needs this ship and the others that are under construction at BIW. “The Navy is counting on us to get the shipyard back on schedule and starting construction of DDG 130 is an important step in that direction. I appreciate the effort everyone is putting into keeping one another safe and healthy as we move forward together.”
The ship is named for William Charette, a Navy master chief hospital corpsman, who earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War. Charette repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire while treating injured Marines during fighting to retake a strategic hill on March 27, 1953, even after he incurred a head injury that left him temporarily unable to see.