The family and supporters of Filipino American war hero Telesforo Trinidad are one step closer to seeing a naval ship named after him.
"It’s a validation of the heroism of Telesforo Trinidad who earned a Medal of Honor in 1915 for his heroism aboard the USS San Diego," USS Telesforo Trinidad campaign founding member, Cecilia Gaerlan said.
Trinidad saved a pair of shipmates in a boiler room explosion aboard the USS San Diego in 1915. His heroism was recognized by US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.
"While serving aboard USS San Diego, Petty Officer Trinidad risked his own life and well-being to save two of his shipmates during a catastrophic boiler explosion. Trinidad is the second service member to receive the award in peacetime," Del Toro noted.
Del Toro recently hosted a celebration in Washington, DC to announce the sponsors of the future USS Telesforo Trinidad ship.
The two sponsors are Christine Trinidad, who is one of the sailor's great grandchildren, and Retired Rear Admiral Connie Mariano.
"She's the first Filipino American to become a flag officer in the U.S. Navy. Flag officer meaning rank of Rear Admiral and above, so this is a very historic time," Gaerlan said of Mariano.
Sponsors christen the ship and advocate for the continued service and well being of the vessel. The yet-to-be-built Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer is expected to be built in a few years.
Trinidad's grandson Pope said, "it's really exciting to have a ship that will be prominent on the frontlines of the U.S. Navy so we would have been proud with any ship named after my grandfather but having such a war fighting destroyer is really kind of exciting."
The next step is raising funds in preparation for the commissioning of the ship.