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Monday, December 05, 2022

Navy ship to be named after Filipino sailor Telesphoro Trinidad

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – US Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro announced Thursday that a future destroyer will be named the USS Telesphoro Trinidad in honor of a Filipino sailor who rescued two crew members when his ship was hit by a crash. The fire broke out more than a century ago.

Fireman Telesphoro de la Cruz Trinidad is the only Filipino in the US Navy to have been awarded the Medal of Honor. He received the honor for his actions aboard the USS San Diego in 1915 and at a time when it could be awarded for non-combatant heroism.

“Since being sworn in as secretary, I want to honor his heroic actions by naming a ship after him,” del Toro said in a statement released Thursday. “This ship and her future crew will be an important part in reinforcing our maritime superiority as well as emphasizing the rich culture and history of our naval heritage.”

News cheered Asian Americans, veterans and civilians in both the US and the Philippines who urged the naming. He said a designated ship would also honor the thousands of Filipino and Filipino-Americans who have served in the US Navy since 1901, when the Philippines was a United States territory.

Trinidad, who died in 1968 at the age of 77, was aboard the USS San Diego in January 1915 when boilers exploded, killing nine people. He was among more than 250,000 Filipino soldiers who served in World War II, including thousands who died during the brutal 1942 Bataan Death March in the Philippines.

Del Toro said a future Earle Burke-class guided-missile destroyer would be named Trinidad. Thursday’s statement said the destroyers are the backbone of the US Navy’s surface fleet.

In January 2020, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly named a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier after Doris “Dory” Miller, an African American sailor. He received the Navy Cross for his actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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