HONOLULU — Irene Hirano Inouye, the widow of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, will head to Maine in May for the keel-joining ceremony of the $1.5 billion destroyer named for her late-husband, who was a Medal of Honor recipient and legendary Hawaii lawmaker.
Inouye will be the ship’s sponsor at the ceremony scheduled for May 14, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .
“It’s something that I know he would be extremely proud of,” Inouye said. “He would also feel it was a tribute to those that he served with in the military and for the sacrifices that they made.”
Delivery of the USS Daniel Inouye has slipped more than a year due to a schedule change with the contractor, which means the 510-foot warship won’t arrive in Hawaii until 2020. The Navy said the USS Daniel Inouye’s completion was delayed so the shipyard where it is being built can also work on other vessels.
Shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works started fabrication on the USS Daniel Inouye in October 2014. The vessel was originally expected to be delivered to the Navy late this year.
Then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced in 2013 that the destroyer would be named after Daniel Inouye, whom he called “a true American hero.”
Daniel Inouye, part of the fabled Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, lost his right arm attacking multiple German machine gun positions in Italy in 1945.
He went on to become one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate. He died in late 2012.