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Navy Christens Destroyer for Lt. Michael Murphy

Parents at ceremony for Medal of Honor winner killed in action in Afghanistan.

The Navy christened its newest ship after Patchogue’s Lt. Michael P. Murphy in Bath, Maine on Saturday.

Murphy, a Navy SEAL, lost his life on June 28, 2005 during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan.

On what would have been Murphy’s 35th birthday, the Navy christened the newest guided-missile destroyer, Pre-Commisioned Unit (PCU) Michael Murphy DDG 112 at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in his memory.

Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in 2007, and there is also a memorial dedicated to him in front of the Patchogue  building. In 2008, the post office in Patchogue was named for Lt. Murphy.

Murphy's mother Maureen christened the ship by smashing the traditional bottle of champagne against the bow, while her husband, Daniel, a Vietnam veteran, looked on.

"I am so proud and it is truly an honor," Mauren Murphy said. "For people to come out and remember Mike and to celebrate this ship; it means a lot and it means that they still remember the sacrifice he made for this country."

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead delivered the ceremony's principal address. Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Adm. Eric T. Olson, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli and family members of Navy SEALs Petty Officers Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson, who lost their lives alongside Murphy, were also in attendance.

Another SEAL, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, survived and has since documented the events in his book "Lone Survivor," which prominently features Murphy.

Lt. Murphy led a four-man team whose mission was to find a key Taliban leader in mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan. The men came under fire from a large enemy force who were in superior tactical position. Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, he calmly provided his unit's location, requesting immediate support. Returning to his cover, he continued to fight until  succumbing to his wounds.

The 9,200 ton PCU Michael Murphy, the 62nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and possess offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare.

The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines can power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots (34.6 mph). Cmdr. Thomas E. Shultz, a native of El Cajon, California, will be its commanding officer.

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