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5th Annual Gravely Celebration Experience Aboard the Battleship IOWA
February 15, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
What: Please mark your calendars on Thursday, February 15, 2018, for the 5th Annual Gravely Celebration Experience. Additional announcements are coming soon, including emcee and a revamped website that is just days away from setting sail.
This event is part of “IOWA Remembers,” the annual series of tributes and ceremonies presented by Pacific Battleship Center (PBC) aboard Battleship IOWA. The series advances PBC’s mission to “Celebrate the American Spirit” by marking national, military and naval dates of importance.
Who: Recognizing longtime San Pedro resident and former Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Major General (Retired) Peter J. Gravett, USA, California National Guard, Ret., with the 2018 VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Leadership & Service Award.
Also announcing the winner of the Gravely Essay Contest, which challenges students to explore VADM Samuel L. Gravely’s motto: Education, Motivation & Perseverance. The winning student will read his or her essay and will receive the student award honors.
What: The VADM Samuel L. Gravely Jr. Leadership & Service Award, conferred annually, recognizes leaders in Southern California who exemplify the Vice Admiral’s trailblazing and courageous service.
The Gravely Award Celebration is part of “IOWA Remembers,” the annual series of tributes and ceremonies presented by PBC aboard Battleship IOWA. The series advances PBC’s mission to “Celebrate the American Spirit” by marking national, military and naval dates of importance.
About VADM Samuel L. Gravely:
Admiral Samuel L. Gravely (1922 – 2004) had a naval career that lasted 38 years, during which he broke boundaries. In 1952, he reported aboard USS Iowa for duty as a radio communications officer. He later became the first African-American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD 717)) and then a major warship (USS Jouett (DLG 29)). Eventually, his heroism and leadership capabilities resulted in his achieving flag rank and becoming the first African-American vice admiral to command a numbered fleet (U.S. 3rd). Throughout his career, Gravely received the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service and Navy Commendation Medals. The destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), commissioned in 2010, was named in his honor. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82 and was interred at Washington D.C’s Arlington National Cemetery with military honors.
About Battleship IOWA
Entering service more than 70 years ago, the USS IOWA deployed to the South Pacific in the uncertain early years of World War II. The iconic battleship served with distinction in that war and later, during the Korean War. In the 1990s, as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the IOWA concluded her active duty. Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship museum. Forged in war and guardian of the peace, the proud ship keeps watch as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history, having carried upon them three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors. Visitors are awed by the IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans. Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our hours are 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m with our last ticket sale. Please visit our website additional information on special events, group tours educational programs and Naval retirement flag service.