Navy destroyer named after 19th-century Montpelier-born war hero

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A U.S. Navy missile destroyer being christened this weekend in Mississippi has a Vermont connection.

The destroyer, which will be christened in ceremonies Saturday in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is named the Dewey, after Admiral George Dewey, a Montpelier native and U.S. Naval Academy graduate who’s best known for his 1898 victory at the Battle of Manila Bay, in the Spanish-American War.

Dewey’s forces sunk or captured the entire Spanish Pacific fleet without any American lives lost from enemy fire.

Dewey returned to America to a hero’s welcome, and by act of Congress was made Admiral of the Navy in 1899.

A special military decoration, the Dewey Medal, was also named in his honor. Dewey died in Washington, D.C., Jan. 16, 1917, still on active duty.


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