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      1. DDG 58 | USS LABOON

        DDG 58

        Namesake:

        Captain John Francis "Jake" Laboon

        "Fearless Fifty-Eight" honors the distinguished career of Captain John Francis "Jake" Laboon, Chaplain Corps, U. S. Navy.

        Known to most simply as "Father Jake", he devoted his life to service to God, Country and the Navy. A football star and National Championship Lacrosse All-American, Laboon graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy as a member of the class of 1944.

        Assigned to the submarine USS PETO (SS 265), then Lieutenant Junior grade Laboon won the Silver Star for bravery for diving from his moving submarine to rescue a downed aviator under heavy enemy fire. At the close of World War II, Lieutenant Laboon left the Navy to become a Jesuit priest.

        In 1958, Father Laboon returned to the Navy he loved as a member of the Chaplain Corps. Over the next 21 years, he served in virtually every branch of the Navy and Marine Corps. His assignments included tours in Alaska, Hawaii, Japan and Vietnam. As a Chaplain with the Marines in Vietnam, Father Laboon earned a Legion of Merit with Combat "V".

        In addition to his heroic service in two wars, Father Laboon became the first chaplain for the Polaris Submarine Program and later became the Senior Catholic Chaplain at the Naval Academy. The Naval Academy has honored Father Laboon by renaming the Chaplain's Center in his honor. When he retired in 1979, Captain Laboon was the Fleet Chaplain, Atlantic Fleet. When his naval career ended, Father Laboon returned to Annapolis as the house manager of the Jesuit retreat facility, Manresa-on-Severn. His final tour of duty was as pastor of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church in Woodstock, Maryland.

        When he passed away in 1988, Father Jake left behind countless service members and their families whose lives he had touched with his compassion and understanding. His courage and genuine interest and concern for all his shipmates was then, is now, and will forever remain an extraordinary example for young sailors and marines everywhere. It is indeed an honor for DDG 58 to be named for such an outstanding naval hero.

        Special thanks to John Mulcahy for supplying above information.

        Ship's Crest:



        The ship's coat of arms is highly symbolic of the ship's namesake, Captain John Francis Laboon and his heroism, loyalty and devotion to duty.

        The shield, in Navy blue and gold, represents the sea and excellence highlighting Chaplain Laboon's dedicated naval service. The color white signifies integrity and purity of purpose. the quarted shield suggests a cross reflecting the chaplain's mission. the upright trident symbolizes sea prowess and highlights the ship's vertical launch capabilities with the three tines representing Anti-Submarine, Anti-Surface, and Anti-Air Warfare. The Trident, with it's bottom spike pointing to the ocean depths, also represents Chaplain Laboon's service as a submariner both as a line officer and a chaplain.

        The foundation of the crest is a life preserver which symbolizes Chaplain Laboon's heroic rescue of a downed fighter pilot. The preserver's straps, which are red, reflect courage and sacrifice and denote his service with the Marines in Vietnam. The star commemorates the Chaplain's Silver Star and also represents his five successful submarine patrols. the wreath of laurel is emblematic of honor and accomplishment.

        LABOON's motto "WITHOUT FEAR" is emblazoned in white on a red scroll underneath the shield. Just as Captain John Francis Laboon showed no fear in rescuing the downed aviator, LABOON meets all challenges, milestones and obstacles "WITHOUT FEAR".

        Special thanks to John Mulcahy for supplying above information.

        PHOTOS

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