VFW Applauds Navy for Decision to Name Future Ship After Hero

Future Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer will be named in honor of Telesforo Trinidad

WASHINGTON — Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander Matthew “Fritz” Mihelcic applauds Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro for his decision to name a future Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Fireman Second Class Telesforo de la Crux Trinidad, announced today.

“This is outstanding news,” said Mihelcic. “On behalf of the 1.5 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary, I want to thank Secretary Del Toro for considering our recommendation and deciding to honor the legacy of a true hero.”

USS San Diego and Filipino-American Medal of Honor Recipient Fireman Second Class Telesforo de la Crux TrinidadIn a letter sent to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy in October 2021, Mihelcic urged Secretary Del Toro to support naming a future commissioned surface combatant ship after the Medal of Honor recipient. Mihelcic wrote that choosing to name a ship after Trinidad “would validate the exemplary service of Mr. Trinidad and serve as a testament to the generations of Filipinos who have served faithfully and loyally in the United States Navy for over 100 years.”

Trinidad was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 1, 1915, for saving the lives of two of his fellow crewmembers three months earlier following a series of boiler room explosions aboard the USS San Diego. Trinidad is the only Filipino in the U.S. Navy to be awarded the Medal of Honor and is one of only two service members ever to receive the award in peacetime.

The future USS Telesforo Trinidad (DDG 139) will be the latest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer added to the surface fleet. It will be the first U.S. Navy ship named in honor of a Filipino and second after a person of Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander decent, following the honor of another Medal of Honor recipient USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), commissioned Dec. 8, 2021.

Read the full announcement from the Secretary of the Navy here: SECNAV Names Future Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer Telesforo Trinidad.