Fighting Fitz and Big John are back

Last week, the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) sailed out of Ingalls after a three-year saga of being put back together following the collision with container ship MV ACX Crystal on 17 June 2017. She is now headed back to her regular homeport of San Diego for a return to service with the Pacific Fleet.

She dedicated a Remembrance Passageway to the seven Bluejackets lost in the incident and flies a special flag in their honor, recalling the 1813 dying command of CPT James Lawrence aboard USS Chesapeake.

190617-N-BR740-1106 PASCAGOULA, Miss. (June 17, 2019) The crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) unveiled a commemorative flag on June 17, 2019, during a remembrance ceremony honoring the Sailors who died in a collision in the Sea of Japan on June 17, 2017. The flag, designed by current crew members, is blue with “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” emblazoned above the names of the seven Sailors. (U.S. Navy photo by Samantha Crane/Released)

Similarly, the crew of the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), Fitz’s sistership, successfully completed basic phase certification, June 2, following months of training and preparation to return the ship and its crew to operational status. As you will recall, McCain has been sidelined for repairs and extensive, accelerated upgrades over the last three years, following a collision in August 2017.

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