USS Utah Sailors Gather For Their Own Memorial - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

USS Utah Sailors Gather For Their Own Memorial

Cecil Calavan Cecil Calavan
Clark Simmons Clark Simmons
Veterans remember and pay tribute to their fallen shipmates Veterans remember and pay tribute to their fallen shipmates
The commemoration took place at the Arizona Memorial The commemoration took place at the Arizona Memorial
USS Utah USS Utah

By Joann Shin

(KHNL) - Hundreds will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack Thursday.

The commemoration will be held at the Arizona Memorial.

But a special memorial was held Wednesday for sailors of another ship.

Five survivors of the USS Utah and their families gathered at Ford Island to remember and honor their fallen shipmates.

Cecil Calavan returned to the site, where he lost shipmates 65 years ago.

He was just 17 years old. So young and yet he saw so much.

"I recall the men that were trapped and died two or three days later," Calavan told us.

Clark Simmons from Brooklyn, New York is another USS Utah survivor who returned.

"The Utah as you know was a gunnery training ship," said Simmons.

The ship docked at Ford Island was one of the first to be attacked.

Simmons saw it coming from the window of the Utah.

"As I was looked out the port, two torpedoes planes were making a run on the Utah and I saw them release the torpedoes and felt it hit ship," Simmons told KHNL New 8.

The torpedoes slammed into the non combat ship and it quickly filled with water.

"All of a sudden we heard, 'abandon ship'. The ship began to lift," Simmons said.

And that's where the ship remains to this day.

And though battered and rusted, Calavan says it's a lasting tribute to the heroism and strength displayed on that day.

"I can remember the spirit. She had it. She was a great ship and that spirt was what the Japanese didn't realize we had," said Calavan.

While 5 Utah survivors attended Wednesday's memorial, we're told there are just over 30 Utah survivors still living.

Powered by Frankly