A cutting-edge warship docked at the Port of Tampa Bay early Monday morning.
In the coming week, it will be formally commissioned into the Navy during a significant event known as a commissioning ceremony.
Residents of the community will have numerous chances to view the USS Jack H. Lucas DDG 125 Warship in the lead-up to the ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Port authorities expressed their deep sense of honor at the selection of our region for this occasion.
“This destroyer will be the next generation of our nation’s really tip-of-the-spear vessel warship that will sail in harm’s way around the world but to promote peace for our nation,” Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson said.
Anderson likened the preparations for the ship’s arrival to the preparations made for the Super Bowl.
This week, with thousands of people anticipated to attend the festivities, it’s a full-scale effort involving everyone.
“We commission Coast Guard cutters here; we support those commissioning, but the undertaking of a navy vessel is significantly larger,” Anderson said.
He mentioned that ships of this caliber are usually named after presidents, but this particular one bears the name of a Marine legend.
Its name, “Indestructible,” reflects the indomitable spirit of Jack H. Lucas.
At the age of 17, he achieved the distinction of being the youngest recipient of the Medal of Honor in the history of the United States Marine Corps, recognized for his exceptional service and bravery during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
“One of the worst battles of WWII in terms of loss of life for the United States and the Marine Corps,” Anderson said. “He jumped on two grenades to save his colleagues and he lived.”
Despite his medical retirement, Lucas expressed a strong desire to parachute from an airplane and consequently joined the airborne. In an astonishing twist of fate, his parachute malfunctioned, yet he miraculously survived the incident.
In another remarkable and harrowing episode, his wife attempted to hire a hitman to end his life in an effort to claim his benefits. Once again, he narrowly escaped this deadly plot, demonstrating his remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.
Port officials expressed their eagerness to provide further insights into Lucas’s identity throughout the week.
Beginning on Tuesday, daily ship tours are available from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM in the lead-up to Saturday’s commissioning. These tours are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Additionally, you have the option to register for complimentary tickets to the commissioning event by visiting the provided link.