CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is hosting what might be the final reunion for veterans of the World War II battleship that carried the state's name.The USS West Virginia Association plans to gather in Charleston Sept. 28-30.Former sailors, their families and naval history buffs have reunited annually since 1955. They expect to tour the Culture Center and visit a 20-foot replica of their old warship in Beckley during their three-day stay.
The West Virginia suffered heavy damage during the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but the Navy rebuilt the battleship in time for the Pacific campaign's final phase. The "Wee-Vee" was the only ship attacked at Pearl Harbor that was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.
Decommissioned after the war, the warship's mast and bell stand as a memorial at West Virginia University.The veterans group says this reunion might be its last.Additional details are at usswestvirginia.org.