Boston National Historical Park, USS Constitution, and the USS Constitution Museum will host a commemorative service and a wreath laying ceremony on the World War II-era destroyer USS Cassin Young on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 to commemorate the 1941 surprise attack by the Japanese on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. USS Cassin Young is named for U.S. Navy Commander Cassin Young who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor. A reception will follow in the USS Constitution Museum theatre.
Participating in the ceremony will be National Parks of Boston General Superintendent Michael Creasey, USS Constitution Commanding Officer Robert S. Gerosa, Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco A. Ureña, City of Boston Veterans’ Services Commissioner Giselle Sterling, and other invited guests. The program will include the musical selection “Remember Pearl Harbor” by the Apollo Club of Boston, a rifle salute and rendition of “Taps” by the Leatherneck Honors Society, and a gun salute from USS Constitution.
Although USS Cassin Young was built at San Pedro, California, it is typical of the many Fletcher-class destroyers constructed in the Charlestown Navy Yard during World War II. The ship was commissioned at the end of 1943 and first saw action in the Pacific in early 1944. USS Cassin Young took part in the landings in the Philippines, rescued survivors from the stricken carrier USS Princeton, and screened the American force that sank four Japanese carriers in the battle of Cape Engano.
Off Okinawa, USS Cassin Young survived two separate kamikaze hits, one of which killed 22 crew members. The ship was recalled to service in 1951 and underwent modernization at Boston Naval Shipyard on several occasions during the next decade before finally hauling down her commissioning pennant in 1960. USS Cassin Young has been at Boston National Historical Park in the Charlestown Navy Yard since 1978, where the National Park Service and many dedicated volunteers maintain the ship as a living memorial to the thousands of men and women who built, repaired, and served on Navy ships throughout American history.