Veterans urge Navy to name ship after first Filipino to receive Medal of Honor – Navy

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U.S. veterans in the Philippines are supporting a campaign to name a U.S. warship after the only Filipino in the Navy to receive the Medal of Honor.

Veterans of foreign wars and American Legion posts in Angeles City last month approved resolutions calling on the Navy to name a new warship after Telesforo Trinidad.

Trinidad’s bravery aboard the USS San Diego during a disaster at sea earned him the country’s highest military honor, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

On January 21, 1915, while patrolling the Gulf of California, the armored cruiser completed a four-hour test at full speed and endurance. At the end of the trial, a clogged tube from one of the ship’s boilers gave way, creating a chain reaction of explosions that killed nine men and injured several others, according to the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, Virginia.

Trinidad’s actions during the disaster as a second-class firefighter were reported by the naval magazine, Our Navy, in its May 1915 issue, republished by the museum.

“At the time of the explosion, Trinidad was forced out of Firing Range 2 by the force of the blast, but she immediately returned and picked up RE Daly, Second Class Firefighter, whom he saw injured. and proceeded to bring it out. The magazine reported. “Passing into Fireroom # 4, Trinidad was just in time to catch the blast in Fireroom # 3 but with no regard for his own safety, although badly burned in the face, he passed Daly and then helped out. rescue another injured man. of n ° 3 Fireroom. “

For her bravery that day, Trinidad received the Medal of Honor, a letter of congratulations and a tip of $ 100, the equivalent of around $ 2,700 today, the magazine reported.

Ensign Robert Cary, who held the doors open to allow sailors to escape from a fire room on the ship, also received the Medal of Honor.

Three active naval ships are named after Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Chung-Hoon and USS Daniel Inouye are named after Rear Adm. Gordon Pai’ea Chung-Hoon, recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star, and the late Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The Bob Hope Class Freighter USNS Pililaau is named after the Medal of Honor recipient Private Herbert Pililaau.

The efforts of Philippine-based veterans to honor Trinidad support a campaign led by a group of retired Filipino military officers, including former Air Force Col. Nonie Cabana and former Air Force captain. Navy Ronald Ravelo, the only Filipino American to have commanded a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Trinidad was born on November 25, 1890 in New Washington, Aklan Province, Panay, Philippines. He enlisted in the US Navy with the Island Force in the Philippines in 1910 and served in both World Wars until his retirement in 1945. He lived in Imus, Cavite, Philippines, until his death on May 8, 1968, at age 77. , according to a website set up by the campaign.

Tens of thousands of Filipinos have served in the US military. After the independence of the Philippines in 1946, more than 35,000 Filipinos were recruited into the United States Navy from 1952 to 1992 under a provision of the Agreement on Military Bases between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States.

Thousands of Filipino Americans enlisted in the same 40 years and continue to do so, according to the campaign’s website.

In an April 20 letter to Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker, representing Joe Courtney, D-Conn., Wrote: “Name a future Navy warship after this hero, Telesforo Trinidad, sends a powerful and timely message about our nation and our Navy Diversity.

However, the campaign’s efforts have been delayed because President Joe Biden has yet to confirm a permanent secretary of the Navy, according to Dennis Wright, a former sea captain living in the Philippines. He is an advisor for the ship naming campaign.

Wright, in a telephone interview Thursday, said he had worked with many Filipino sailors during his 33-year career.

“It would be great to announce a ship name this month as part of Asia Pacific Heritage Month,” he said.

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Twitter: @ SethRobson1

After the independence of the Philippines in 1946, more than 35,000 Filipinos were recruited into the United States Navy from 1952 to 1992 under a provision of the Agreement on Military Bases between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States.
USS TELESFORO TRINIDAD CAMPAIGN





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