EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSAILORS REUNION
from Eyewitness News Online
Sailors Of U.S.S. West Virginia Gather For Yearly Tradition
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Katy Brown
Reported: Sep. 28, 2012 3:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 28, 2012 4:45 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Sailors who served on the warship U.S.S West Virginia, along with their families, met in the capital city for a reunion Friday.
The group has gathered each year since 1955. Earlier reunions were held in southern California and typically coincided with the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Over the years, reunions have been held across the nation, according to a release.
Friday, the group toured the West Virginia Culture Center. This weekend, members of the group will travel to Beckley, where they will view a model of the U.S.S West Virginia at the Raleigh County Veterans Museum.
The Wee Vees, as the ship was nicknamed by its crew, was built for about $25 million and was christened Nov. 19, 1921.
The ship received extensive damage from Japanese torpedoes during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Despite missing much of the war, she earned five battle stars and was later reconstructed, and the ship's motto was the same as her home state: "Montari Semper Liberi – Mountaineers Are Always Free."
For more information on the U.S.S West Virginia, log onto www.usswestvirginia.org.
Most of the men are now in their late 80s, and organizers believe this may be the group's last reunion. The reunion will wrap up on Sunday.
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