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US Navy - Guided Missile Destroyer

DDG 115 - USS Rafael Peralta

 

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta insignia crest patch badge us navy ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class guided missile destroyer bath iron works

 

Type, class: Guided Missile Destroyer - DDG; Arleigh Burke class, Flight IIA

Builder: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA

   

STATUS:

Awarded: September 26, 2011

Laid down: October 30, 2014

Launched: October 31, 2015

Commissioned: July 29, 2017

IN SERVICE

   

Homeport:

Namesake: Sergeant Rafael Peralta / USMC (1979-2004)

Ships Motto: FORTIS AD FINEM

Technical Data: see: INFO > Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer - DDG

 

ship images


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commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California - July 29, 2017

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class guided missile destroyer 2017 03x commissioning ceremony naval air station north island
commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California - July 29, 2017

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class guided missile destroyer 2017 04x commissioning ceremony naval air station north island
commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California - July 29, 2017

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class guided missile destroyer 2017 11 commissioning ceremony naval air station north island
commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California - July 29, 2017

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 2017 09 commissioning ceremony naval air station north island
commissioning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California - July 29, 2017

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 2016 07 acceptance trials
concluding acceptance trials - Pascagoula, Mississippi - December 2016

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Bath, Maine - October 2016

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ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 2016 03 bath iron works maine

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 2015 10 christening ceremony bath iron works maine
christening ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine - October 31, 2015

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christening ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine - October 31, 2015

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 04 general dynamics bath iron works maine construction
construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine

ddg-115 uss rafael peralta arleigh burke class destroyer 05 general dynamics bath iron works maine construction
construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine
 

 

USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115):

 

Rafael Peralta (April 7, 1979 - November 15, 2004):

Sergeant Rafael Peralta, assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, was a United States Marine killed in combat during Second Battle of Fallujah in the city of Fallujah, Iraq. In September 2008, his family was notified that he was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest award a United States Marine can receive.

Rafael Peralta was born on April 7, 1979 in Mexico City. Son of Rafael and Rosa Peralta, the oldest of four, with siblings Icelda, Karen and Ricardo, he immigrated to the United States, graduated from Morse High School in 1997, and joined the United States Marine Corps as soon as he had a green card in 2000. He later became an American citizen while serving in the Marine Corps.

According to accounts, Peralta served the United States with enthusiasm and patriotism: "In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year old brother, 'be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American.'"


On November 15, 2004, 25 year old Sgt. Peralta, deployed to Iraq as a scout team leader assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, along with his team was ordered to clear houses in the Operation Phantom Fury. Peralta was not assigned to enter the buildings, but chose to do so anyway.

Sergeant Peralta led his team through a series of house clearings before charging into the fourth house. He found two rooms empty on the ground floor. Peralta opened a third door and was hit multiple times with AK-47 fire, leaving him severely wounded. He dropped to the floor and moved aside in order to allow the Marines behind him to return fire.

The insurgents responded by throwing a grenade at the Marines. The two Marines with Sgt. Peralta tried to get out of the room but could not. Sgt. Peralta was still conscious on the floor and reports indicate that despite his wounds, he was able to reach for the grenade and pull it under his body absorbing the majority of the lethal blast and shrapnel which killed him instantly, but saved the lives of his fellow Marines.

Sgt. Peralta is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.


In December 2004, U.S. Congressman Bob Filner of California introduced legislation to award Sgt. Peralta the Medal of Honor. As of January 22, 2008, a Medal of Honor award for Sgt. Peralta was awaiting presidential approval.

On September 17, 2008, Rafael Peralta's family was notified by LtGen. Richard Natonski that he would not receive the Medal of Honor, but the Navy Cross instead, the service's second highest award for valor. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates rejected the Marine Corps' recommendation, concluding that his appointed panel unanimously confirmed that his actions did not meet the standard of "without any possibility of error or doubt". The central argument posed relates to whether the already mortally-wounded Peralta could have intentionally reached for the grenade, shielding his fellow Marines from the blast. In a Marine Corps investigation of the attack, Natonski said, "I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the gravely wounded Peralta covered the grenade. The doubt arose due to some believe that Peralta was clinically dead when the insurgents threw the grenade.

Since the announcement that Peralta would receive the Navy Cross instead of the Medal of Honor, numerous groups and individuals have spoken out in support of the Medal of Honor for Peralta. The Congressional delegations from California and Hawaii, as well as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have requested a Presidential review of Gates' decision against a Medal of Honor award. Although calls to elevate the award have not been acted on to date, lawmakers have not given up and continue their efforts. Of the seven servicemembers nominations for the Medal of Honor that have reached the Secretary of Defense, Peralta's is the only nomination that has not been approved.

source: wikipedia

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another biography:

“Be proud of me, bro… and be proud of being an American.” Sergeant Rafael Peralta wrote those words to his little brother, Ricardo, the night before he was killed while clearing houses in Fallujah, Iraq, with his U.S. Marine squad. Those words reflected Sgt. Peralta’s character - a Marine’s Marine, with his boot camp graduation certificate hanging on his bedroom wall in his family’s home alongside copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He wanted to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps immediately upon graduating from San Diego’s Morse High School in 1997, but had to wait until he received his green card.

When he finally got that card in 2000, he enlisted the very same day. He would later become a U.S. citizen while serving in the Corps. His service in the Marine Corps progressed, and he was noted for showing great enthusiasm and patriotism as he completed his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego later in 2000, and then further instruction at Infantry Training Battalion, School Infantry, Camp Pendleton, California, where he received the military occupational specialty of 0311 Rifleman.

In 2001, Sgt. Peralta was deployed overseas when he received the tragic news of his father’s death in a work-place accident. He returned home to be with his family, to help them through the difficult time and take on the “man of the house” role as he also trained at the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot and at Camp Pendleton. In 2003 he transferred to the Marine base in Kaneohe, Hawaii and re-enlisted for four more years. Sgt. Peralta was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force and deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a scout team leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He was heavily engaged in the city of Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Al Fajr, known also as the Second Battle of Fallujah. After three long days clearing scores of houses in insurgent-heavy Fallujah, Sgt. Peralta asked to join an under-strength squad and volunteered to stand post that evening, allowing his fellow Marines more time to rest. That night, he wrote and sent the letter to his brother, Ricardo, who was then 14.

The next morning the squad Sgt. Peralta had joined successfully cleared six houses. At the seventh, the point man in the squad opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense close-range automatic weapons fire form multiple insurgents. The Marines returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to get out of the line of fire, Sgt. Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded.

The insurgents fled, throwing a grenade as they ran from the building. The grenade came to rest near Sgt. Peralta’s head. According to the official citation for the Navy Cross award:

“Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sgt. Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sgt. Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sgt. Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.”

Sgt. Peralta died that morning in Fallujah, on Nov. 15, 2004, at the age of 25.

In addition to the Navy Cross, Sgt. Peralta was awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Ribbon. His other awards and decorations include a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

The story of Sgt. Peralta’s service and heroism have become akin to legend in the U.S. Marine Corps. His story is told regularly at boot camp, and it has been cited by members of Congress and high-ranking generals. In 2007, the command post for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, was named “Peralta Hall” in honor of him.

In 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that Sgt. Peralta would be forever memorialized by having a U.S. Navy destroyer named after him. Wherever USS Rafael Peralta sails, it will carry the message “Fortis ad Finem,” meaning “Courageous to the End.” This ship and these words will ensure the world will always remember and be inspired by the sacrifice of Sgt. Peralta, a young man who couldn’t wait to join the corps and serve his country, who loved his family deeply and put the welfare and lives of his fellow Marines above his own - a young man who was Courageous to the End.

source: DDG-115 website

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Navy Cross Citation:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the NAVY CROSS posthumously to
SERGEANT RAFAEL PERALTA, USMC
for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:
For extraordinary heroism while serving as Platoon Guide with 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division, in action against Anti-Coalition Forces in support of Operation AL FAJR, in Fallujah, Iraq on 15 November 2004. Clearing scores of houses in the previous three days, Sergeant Peralta' asked to join an under strength squad and volunteered to stand post the night of 14 November, allowing fellow Marines more time to rest. The following morning, during search and attack operations, while clearing the seventh house of the day, the point man opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense, close-range automatic weapons fire from multiple insurgents. The squad returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to maneuver out of the line of fire, Sergeant Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded. After the initial exchange of gunfire, the insurgents broke contact, throwing a fragmentation grenade as they fled the building. The grenade came to rest near Sergeant Peralta's head. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sergeant Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

 

Rafael Peralta

sergeant rafael peralta usmc medal of honor uss ddg-115


Decorations:
rafael peralta decorations navy cross purple heart

Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal(with 1 service star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
        
 

patches

 

 

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