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Letter: Donations help bring survivors to reunion
My name Is Cecil Calavan. I am a survivor of the USS Utah and president of the USS Utah Survivors Association.
It is my job to keep alive the memory of those killed and still serving on board that wonderful old battleship, which was sunk by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941 in that horrendous attack on Pearl Harbor.
Every year, the second week of May, we have a reunion in Las Vegas, Nev.
We go to Las Vegas because the weather is usually always good, the hotel gives us great rates and there is a lot to do.
Considering that the youngest survivor — myself — will be 90 in April, the rest range from 93 to 96 and most must travel with a caregiver. As the years have depleted our ranks we find the expenses have increased and there are now too few of us to share the cost.
I must ask for donations again this year to continue.
Last year’s reunion was a great success, thanks to your donations.
There were four USS Utah survivors, and four survivors from other ships, the United States Navy sent two officers to speak at our banquet and they were absolutely wonderful.
The number of people at the banquet was at least 60-plus. We are expecting more this year. At this writing, there are five USS Utah survivors planning to attend and three from other ships — one each from the USS Pennsylvania, USS Nevada and USS Oklahoma.
All of these wonderful ships were either sunk or badly damaged during the attack, with very high casualties. Considering how many survivors there are still living, eight at our reunion is remarkable. If you would care to donate to our reunion in any amount, we would greatly appreciate it.
You may send your donations to: USS Utah Association, treasurer, 388 Blair Mine Road, Angels Camp, CA. 95222