160411-N-SQ656-762 DETROIT (April 11, 2016) Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Detroit native Marine Corps Pfc. Robert E. Simanek, 85, is recognized by former Sen. Carl M. Levin, elected officials and distinguished guests during a ship naming ceremony at the General Motors Renaissance Center in Detroit. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced the Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke class destroyer, DDG 120, was named Carl M. Levin in honor of the longest serving senator in Michigan history. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Kristine Volk/Released)

Thanks to Hometown Life for this:

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI – As a young adult, Robert Simanek dedicated his life to serving his country.

Simanek was born April 26, 1930, and grew up in Detroit.

Simanek, 90, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951 and fought in the Korean War. One year later, he faced grave circumstances in which he proved himself nothing short of heroic.

The then-22-year-old was serving as a Private First Class when Chinese troops ambushed him and his squad.

Simanek ended up throwing himself over a live grenade in the hopes of saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. After miraculously surviving the blast and undergoing a year-long recovery, former President Dwight Eisenhower gave Simanek the Medal of Honor. The medal is the U.S. military’s highest decoration.

Now, the longtime Farmington Hills, Michigan resident is again being honored by having a U.S. Navy ship named after him.

WASHINGTON (Jan. 15, 2021) A graphic illustration of the future expeditionary sea base USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7). (U.S. Navy graphic)

The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Robert E. Simanek is under construction and is planned for completion by 2024.

When it’s finished, it will weigh 100,000 tons fully loaded and, according to a release, will “perform a variety of missions, including launching helicopters, small boats, unmanned surface vehicles, special operations, troop transportation and maintenance services.”

“I didn’t think having a ship named after me would happen,” Simanek said in a release. “I was tickled to death when I found out about it.”

Throughout his military service, Simanek also received a Purple Heart and the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars.

He now lives in a senior living community in Novi, Michigan.

Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite, who happens to be from Livonia, Michigan, said the ship will “carry on the Navy’s sacred mission to secure the sea lanes, stand by our allies, and protect the United States against all adversaries.”

Robert Simanek


Robert Simanek receives Medal of Honor


USS Robert E. Simanek

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