USS RALPH JOHNSON is one of the ARLEIGH BURKE Flight IIA guided missile destroyers and the first ship in the Navy named after Marine Corps Private First Class Ralph Johnson.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: September 26, 2011|
|Keel laid: September 12, 2014|
|Launched: December 12, 2015|
|Commissioned: March 24, 2018|
|Builder: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems' Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Length: 508,5 feet (155 meters)|
|Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)|
|Draft: 30.5 feet (9.3 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 9,200 tons full load|
|Speed: 32 knots|
|Aircraft: two |
|Armament: one |
|Homeport: Yokosuka, Japan|
|Crew: approx. 320|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS RALPH JOHNSON. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Ship's Coat of Arms:
The light blue represents the Medal of Honor, the dark blue represents the ocean, and the five stars are in the formation of the constellation "Southern Cross" which comes from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion crest, signifying PFC Johnson's service in the United States Marine Corps. The trident is a traditional naval symbol and the flame emission symbolizes the Integrated Air and Missile Defense system aboard the ship.
The Vietnamese dragon is associated with water and is considered to have authority over life and death. Dragons are responsible for rain, without which life could not continue. The single star above the dragon signifies the life Ralph Johnson saved that earned him the Medal of Honor.
Representing both officer and enlisted, on left side of the crest is the USN Officer's sword and a USN CPO cutlass; on the right side a USMC Officer's Mameluke and a USMC NCO sword.
The ship’s motto stays true to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion warrior mentality, "CELER SILENS MORTALIS" ("Swift Silent Deadly").
About the Ship's Namesake:
USS RALPH JOHNSON is the first warship named for Medal of Honor recipient Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson. Johnson, a native of Charleston, SC., posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968. He sacrificed his life to save a fellow Marine and prevented the enemy from penetrating his patrol perimeter.
USS RALPH JOHNSON Image Gallery:
The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning and show the RALPH JOHNSON during a visit to Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on September 28, 2018.