The legacy of the @Marines’s first African-American aviator and its first African-American general officer, Lt. Gen Frank E. Petersen Jr., will live on through the #USNavy’s newest Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has named DDG-121 the future #USSFrankEPetersenJr.
In 1950, two years after President Harry S. Truman desegregated the @DeptOfDefense, Petersen enlisted in the Navy.
In 1952, Petersen was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He would go on to fly 350 combat missions during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also went on to become the first African-American in the Marine Corps to command a fighter squadron, an air group and a major base.
Petersen retired from the Marine Corps in 1988 after 38 years of service. At the time of his retirement he was, by date of designation, the senior-ranking aviator in the Marine Corps and the United States Navy.
Petersen died last year at his home in Stevensville, Maryland, near Annapolis, at the age of 83. This is the first ship to be named for Petersen.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers – like #USSMichaelMurphy #DDG112 seen here - conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. DDG 121 will be to fight air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.
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