The landmark Bath Iron Works crane towers over the city in the twilight in this 2020 file photo. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

BATH, Maine — Bath Iron Works in Maine has started construction on a destroyer named for a U.S. Coast Guard officer who earned the Navy Cross during World War II.

Construction of the future USS Quentin Walsh began at the shipyard’s fabrication facility in Brunswick.

Shipfitter Mark Lancaster, who has worked at BIW for more than 35 years, cut the first steel for the guided missile destroyer.

The destroyer will become the 44th ship in its class built in Bath.

Walsh, a Rhode Island native, led a 50-man reconnaissance team in World War II that captured the French port city of Cherbourg.

Walsh convinced the German commander of the 300-man garrison to surrender because Cherbourg had already fallen, securing a port needed to support the allied forces after D-Day.