Destroyer Named For Hijack Victim

A decade after terrorists killed Robert D. Stethem, the Navy commissioned a guided-missile destroyer in his name Saturday at a ceremony attended by thousands.

The USS Stethem is the first U.S. Navy ship named after an enlisted man. Stethem, a 23-year-old petty officer and Seabee diver, was killed by Arab terrorists during the hijacking of a TWA airliner to Beirut in 1985.

During the ceremony, Stethem’s mother, Patricia, presented her son’s Bible as a gift to the vessel.

The 8,600-ton, 505-foot ship, built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., will be based in San Diego.

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