Watch the playback of the livestream below
DDG 125 is named for Jacklyn “Jack” H. Lucas (February 14, 1928 – June 5, 2008), the youngest servicemember to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. He earned the United States’ highest military decoration for valor for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima. During a close firefight with 11 Japanese soldiers, Lucas saved the lives of three Marines when two enemy grenades landed in the trench they occupied. Lucas unhesitatingly placed himself on one grenade, and without flinching, pulled the second grenade under his body. Read more about this heroic namesake.
Mrs. Ruby Lucas, Ship Sponsor
Ruby Lucas of Hattiesburg is the widow of Jack H. Lucas, the youngest Medal of Honor recipient of World War II.
Jack died in 2008, but Ruby continues to talk about the man who spent his life as the ultimate Marine and the ultimate American.
"It really is important to me and so many other people that loved Jack," she said. "He was a great man with a great story. There are so many people all over the United States that loved Jack so much. I'd like to keep him going, even though he's not here."
Ruby Lucas said that, over the years, sharing her husband's story has inspired a few young people to join the Marines or re-enlist in the military.
Ruby often speaks at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby, a perfect setting to talk about a man whose only dream as a boy was to be in the military. A section of the museum is devoted to Medal of Honor recipients and features a segment on Jack Lucas.
She recently addressed a book club at Camp Shelby, which chose to review Jack Lucas' book, Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at the Battle of Iwo Jima. The 2006 autobiography tells of his wartime efforts and his post-war exploits.
Ruby, a southern girl from Petal, Mississippi, fell in love with the gregarious Marine and was married to Jack Lucas for the last decade of his life. She traveled with her husband when he spoke with students and other groups.
Every April, Jack and Ruby Lucas would travel to Gainesville, Texas, to connect with other Medal of Honor recipients. Ruby Lucas still goes every year and, while she is there, speaks to students about her husband. Some of the children still write her.
"He absolutely loved America," Ruby Lucas said.
Mrs. Catherine Reynolds, Ship Sponsor
Catherine B. Reynolds is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.
She brings to the world of philanthropy the same innovation, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit that has ensured her success in the realm of commerce.
Catherine, born Catherine Brescia, grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, to a Navy family. From there she ascended to the higher echelons of success and philanthropy.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University, she started her business career as a CPA at the accounting firm of Arthur Young and then became the Special Assistant to the Board Chairman of The Charter Company, a Fortune 500 company at the time.
As the leader of two businesses, Mrs. Reynolds went on to create a new and affordable way for Americans to finance a college education. She developed a privately-funded supplement to government student loan programs.
Through her vision and perseverance, millions of Americans have been able to attend the college of their choice. In only one decade, this creative approach to private educational financing revolutionized student lending and spawned a multibillion-dollar industry.
Mrs. Reynolds was selected by Businessweek magazine as one of the 50 most philanthropic living Americans and is the first self-made woman ever to make the list. Mrs. Reynolds has received honorary degrees from Georgetown University, Morehouse College and Willamette University. She is also a recipient of New York University’s Gallatin Gold Medal.
She was selected recently as Washingtonian of the Year, honoring local heroes whose good works and generous spirits make Washington a great place to live and work.
Mrs. Reynolds currently serves on the boards of General Dynamics Corporation and Lindblad Expeditions, LLC. She is also Board Chairman of Lyndra Therapeutics.
She married Wayne Reynolds, CEO of the Academy of Achievement, in 1999. Catherine has one daughter, Megan.
Milestones in Construction
Shipbuilders in Ingalls' Steel Fabrication Shop, from left, Paul Perry, Donald Morrison, Queena Myles and Paul Bosarge, celebrate Start of Fabrication for Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) on May 7, 2018.
Ship Sponsors (left to right) Catherine B. Reynolds and Ruby Lucas trace their initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside the guided missile destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125). Looking on is Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who spoke at the ceremony.
Two cranes were used to lift the 320-ton aft deckhouse onto guided missile destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.
Ingalls Shipbuilding electrician Joe Ditsworth and electrical foreman Lisa Avery initiate light-off of the Aegis Combat System aboard Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) in the ship’s combat information center.
Translation and Launch
Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, recently launched the U.S. Navy’s first Flight III destroyer, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125). DDG 125 is named for Jack H. Lucas, a longtime resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who was the youngest Marine and youngest service member in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor. Two Ingalls Shipbuilders, Charles W. “Billy” Trusler Jr. and David Blackston, talk about why the namesake is important to Mississippi.