The USS Gambier Bay VC-10 Association will hold its four-day reunion here, October 17 – 21, for survivors and their families to honor the 137 men who lost their lives in the sinking of this Navy escort carrier on October 25, 1944, during World War II. The reunion will be located at the Sheraton Brookfield Hotel, 375 South Moorland Rd, Brookfield.
A memorial service will be held on October 20 at 11a.m., at the Sheraton Brookfield Hotel, with lunch to follow. Steve Ponto, Mayor of Brookfield and Dan Vrukas Waukesha County Executive will give proclamations. St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy’s Color Guard will post the colors and a Great Lakes Naval Band bugler will participate. Also, Jenny Thiel, noted Milwaukee area singer will perform. Thiel’s band was named “Band of the Year” by the Shepard Express “Best of Milwaukee” awards.
The memorial service will not only honor those that died aboard the ship, but also survivors who have died since the last reunion. All local veterans are cordially invited to the memorial service, as the Survivors Reunion brings together veterans and their families to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the sinking of the vessel.
Under enemy fire, USS Gambier Bay was sunk by surface fire in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. This is a special reunion for Mayor Ponto, as his father’s ship the USS St. Lo was sunk the same day as the USS Gambier Bay. The four day reunion, with festivities in Milwaukee and Brookfield, will kick off with a dinner banquet on Friday, October 19.
Milwaukee-area veterans and their families can participate in a welcome reception, hospitality room and a tour of the city on Thursday, October 18.
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