Telesforo Trinidad. Navy photo

Rep. Sara Jacobs has asked the Navy to name a new ship after Telesforo Trinidad, a Filipino American sailor who received the Medal of Honor in 1915.

Trinidad, who saved his crewmembers after boiler explosions aboard the armored cruiser USS San Diego, is the only Filipino American and the only Asian American sailor to receive the Medal of Honor.

A future USS Telesforo Trinidad would be the first warship named after an American of Filipino descent. 

“Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad was a hero and a history-maker, and as we celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I am honored to lead the effort to encourage the Navy to name a ship after him,” said Jacobs, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

She said naming of a warship after Trinidad would be a symbol of the Navy’s commitment to “diversity, equality, and inclusion during this time of national racial tensions and unwarranted violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

Jacobs was the lead signatory of a May 26 letter to the acting Secretary of the Navy co-signed by 10 other members of Congress, including Mike Levin, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas from the San Diego delegation.

The letter recommend that Trinidad’s name be used for a future Navy surface combatant. While the specific type of warship was not mentioned, it could be one of the new Constellation-class guided-missile frigates due to start construction this summer.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.