The United States Navy’s Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) is named after Lieutenant William Charles Fitzgerald, USN (1938-1967) in recognition of his extraordinary heroism in the Vietnam War that took his life. The warship was built by Bath Iron Works, Maine, on 9 February 1993 and it was commissioned 14 October 1995.
According to an announcement of April 2004, USS Fitzgerald became one of the fleet of 15 destroyers and 3 cruisers deployed to deter ballistic missile threats worldwide. The destroyer arrived in Yokosuka on 30 September 2004 to join the U.S. 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.
In March 2011, USS Fitzgerald, along with the nuclear-powered super carrier USS Ronald Reagan, was deployed off northeastern Honshu for relief work, after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake) caused by a 9.0-magnitude undersea earthquake off the coast of Japan. Possibly, the ship may have been exposed to radiation leaks resulting from the nuclear accidents at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant following the earthquake and tsunami.