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Navy naming destroyer after Ludington Medal of Honor recipient

The Associated Press
CORRECTS DATE - In this 2017 photo, Peg Ezdebski, surrounded by her children, looks at a bronze bust of her brother and Medal of Honor winner, William Charette, that was placed in the Veterans Memorial in Stearns Park, in Ludington, Mich. (Jeff Kiessel/Ludington Daily News via AP)

Ludington – 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 Navy announced last week that a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named in honor of Hospital Corpsman Master Chief William Charette, reported.

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 soldiers 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 insure 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 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.