USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81)

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USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. She is the 31st destroyer of a planned 62-ship class. The Churchill is named after the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Her home port is in NS Norfolk, Virginia.

Contents

Characteristics

Winston S. Churchill sets the final physical pattern for all subsequent Flight IIA ships by mounting the Mk. 45 mod 4 - 5" (127 mm)/62 caliber gun, a major improvement over the previous Mk. 45 mod 3 - 5 in (127 mm)/54 caliber gun—the longer barrel allows more complete combustion of the propellant, reducing barrel flare and improving projectile velocity and firepower against ship and shore targets. Additionally, the Mk. 45 mod 4 uses a modified gunhouse, designed to reduce its radar signature.

Naming

On 29 November 1995, on a visit to the United Kingdom, President Bill Clinton announced to both Houses of Parliament that the new ship would be named after former British Prime Minister and Honorary Citizen of the United States, Sir Winston Churchill. It would make it technically the first warship of the United States Navy to be named after a non-American citizen since 1975, and the first destroyer and only the fourth US warship named after a British citizen.

Other US warships named after Englishmen were Alfred, an armed merchantman named after King Alfred the Great; Raleigh, a continental frigate, named after Sir Walter Raleigh and Effingham, named after Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham who resigned his commission rather than fight the Americans during the American Revolutionary War. The former frigate Harold E. Holt was also named after a person from a country in the Commonwealth of Nations, the ill-fated Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, however, this is the first ship to be named for a modern British hero, and British Prime Minister.

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