Testimony of Congressman Ed Case in Support of S.R. 32
A Resolution Expressing Support For The Naming Of A United States Navy Surface Combatant Ship After Fireman Second Class And Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Telesforo Trinidad
Washington, March 28, 2022
Senator Clarence Nishihara, Chair, Senator Lynn DeCoite, Vice Chair, and members of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs:
Thank you for holding this hearing today on a resolution that would honor the memory and the extraordinary heroism of Telesforo Trinidad.
As I and several of my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives stated in a letter last May to the Secretary of the Navy:
“We strongly support naming a Navy Surface Combatant after a Filipino sailor who received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1915 – Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad.”
Trinidad earned the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism in the line of duty during boiler explosions onboard the USS San Diego (ACR-6) while the ship was underway in the Gulf of California on January 21, 1915. Trinidad brought two crewmembers to safety in spite of his own physical injuries from the explosion. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in accordance with General Order Number 142 signed by the Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels on April 1, 1915.
The Medal of Honor, which was awarded during peacetime, highlights the importance of service and sacrifice for shipmates and country not only during a time of war but during day-to-day operations. After 106 years, Trinidad still holds the distinction of being the only Asian American and only Filipino American in the U.S. Navy to receive a Medal of Honor. The naming of a ship after Trinidad is a resolute symbol of Navy leadership and commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion during this time of national racial tensions and unwarranted violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It also marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines and the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.
Equally important, it will honor the tens of thousands of Filipinos who have served faithfully and loyally in the U.S. Navy since 1901.
The USS Telesforo Trinidad will be the first ship to be named after an American national of Filipino descent and will serve as a testament to the longstanding military and political alliance that exists between the Philippines and the United States since 1898.
Thank you for your kind consideration of my testimony in support of SR 32.