First and Only Filipino MOH Recipient To Have U.S. Navy Ship Named After Him

The United States Navy is going to name an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer for a Filipino hero, according to CNN News. His name is Telesforo De La Cruz Trinidad. The ship will be called the USS Telesforo Trinidad.

The announcement was made recently by the Navy Secretary, Carlos Del Toro. “Since being sworn in (as SecNav), I have wanted to honor his heroic actions by naming a ship after him.” Del Toro had first heard of Trinidad and his heroic actions while attending the United States Naval Academy.

Trinidad was born on November 25, 1890, when the Philippines were a Spanish colony. Eight years after his birth, the Philippines became a U.S. Territory as a result of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War, ending Spain’s colonial era.

Photo: YouTube/FOX 5 San Diego

In 1901, then-President William McKinley signed an executive order allowing Filipinos to serve in the U.S. Navy.

Trinidad was serving aboard the USS San Diego on January 21, 1915. This was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet at the time. After 4 hours of intense training exercises to test the ship’s speed and endurance capabilities, one the ship’s boilers blew and started a chain reaction with the ship’s other boilers and her fireroom.

Trinidad rushed in to help his shipmates and was badly burned in the process but went back into the burning areas to help others. For his actions that day, the Navy awarded him the Medal Of Honor and gave him a $100 “gratuity” as well.

Teleforo De La Cruz Trinidad is the only Filipino to be honored with the Medal Of Honor. He died at the age of 78 in Cavite, Philippines, in 1968.

The USS Telesforo Trinidad will be designated DD-139.

Honor and respect to the memory of this U.S. sailor.

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