LUDINGTON, Mich. — The U.S. Navy is naming a guided-missile destroyer after a Michigan man who served as a hospital corpsman and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War.
The Ludington native joined the Navy in 1951 and served in the Korean War, the Ludington Daily News reported. In 1953, Charette shielded a wounded Marine from a grenade in North Korea. The blast knocked Charette unconscious, but he continued to tend to the wounded after he came to.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded him the Medal of Honor in 1954. Charette was one of five enlisted service members during the Korean War to receive the nation’s highest award for military valor.
Charette died in 2012 after complications from heart surgery.
Naming the destroyer after Charette will ensure his action are never “forgotten or diminished,” Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said in a statement.
"Charette put himself at extreme risk during intense combat to render aid to Marines in need," he said. "His efforts saved lives and I am honored that his legacy will live on in the future USS William Charette."
The destroyer will be more than 500 feet (150 meters) long and will be able to reach speeds of more than 30 knots. The destroyer will be equipped with offensive and defensive weapons systems that will support maritime and air warfare.