Destroyer’s name honors aviator who tried to save comrade

This April 1950 photo released by the U.S. Navy shows Lt. j.g. Thomas Hudner at an unidentified location. During the Korean War, Hudner crash-landed his plane in a futile attempt to save fellow pilot Jesse Brown, the first African-American naval aviator, who had crashed behind enemy lines. A U.S. Navy frigate was named for Brown in 1973. A U.S. Navy destroyer will be named for Hudner, where he is expected to attend the ceremony at age 92, Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Bath, Maine. (U.S Navy via AP)

BATH, Maine (AP) – A naval aviator who crash-landed his plane to try to save a downed pilot in the Korean War is being honored with a ship bearing his name.

Medal of Honor recipient Tom Hudner, who’s 92, watched Saturday as the future USS Thomas Hudner was christened during a snowstorm at Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Hudner did the only thing he could think of to help after he saw a fellow fighter pilot trapped in a burning plane behind enemy lines in the Korean War. He crash-landed his own plane, climbed out and tried to save his comrade, Ensign Jesse Brown.

Brown, who was the first African-American naval aviator, died despite Hudner’s efforts. A U.S. Navy frigate was named for Brown in 1973.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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