USS Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-7
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May 20, 2011

I am looking for video footage of the launching of the FFG-7. The ship was launched here at Bath Iron Works on September 25, 1976 and is famous for being the ship that John Wayne "pushed down the ways."  The Duke was a guest at the launch of this new class of ship and when the bottle was broken over her bow, nothing happened.  After a minute of pumping hydraulic jacks under her bow and a silly gesture to push her down, the crowd started chanting, "We want the Duke!"  John Wayne got up from his seat and approached the ship, with the crowd going wild and as he touched her bow, she slid down the ways.  

While a few still photos exist of the event, the video footage is missing from the archives here at BIW and we'd love to find it.  It seems unlikely given this was the lead ship of the class, with John Wayne on the stage, that there weren't a dozen cameras filming launch, but so far, I've found nothing.  I've already checked all of the obvious sources including the Library of Congress and all of the news stations that were here in 1976.  If you can be of any assistance, please let me know.

Jamie V. Carter
Manager, Apprenticeship Program
General Dynamics
Bath Iron Works

Reply 1
Nov. 6, 2011

It seems that I saw that clip on a All Star tribute to John Wayne that aired in the latter part of 1976.
I hope that this helps as I would like to see that great moment again.

Terrance Hawkins

Reply 2
Feb. 20, 2015

My mother's mother's mother was the lady who swung the champagne bottle (which refused to break) with the help of Mrs. Rumsfeld. I think I know where to get the video footage he wants.

Christopher Scannell

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