The Navy will christen its newest guided-missile destroyer the Rafael Peralta on Saturday, honoring a San Diego Marine cited for bravery during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.
Peralta, who was born in Mexico City and raised in San Diego, joined the Marines after graduating from Morse High School. He is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines by pulling a live grenade under his body.
He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma.
Peralta’s mother, Rosa Maria Peralta, will christen the new ship during a ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine.
“The tremendous efforts of the highly-skilled men and women of the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works team have brought this ship from an idea to a reality,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “Their work will ensure that the heroism, service and sacrifice of Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta will be honored and remembered by all who come in contact with DDG 115 long after this great warship is christened.”
The Rafael Peralta is the third of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The 9,200-ton Arleigh Burke-class ship is 509 feet in length and powered by four gas turbine engines.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: