USS Oklahoma reunion draws guests with ties to ship's history

The daughter and granddaughter of the woman who christened the USS Oklahoma on March 23, 1914, in Camden, N.J., came to see a small group of USS Oklahoma survivors who are holding a final reunion here this week.
BY JOHN GREINER Published: June 9, 2012
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— The daughter and granddaughter of the woman who christened the USS Oklahoma on March 23, 1914, in Camden, N.J., came to see a small group of USS Oklahoma survivors who are holding a final reunion here this week.

The ship was christened by Lorena Cruce, whose father was Lee Cruce, second governor of Oklahoma.

Her daughter, Lee Shaw, and granddaughter, Lorena Cruce Maldonado, live in California.

The Oklahoma was capsized in the attack by Japanese war planes on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack killed 429 sailors and Marines on the Oklahoma.

Just three survivors arrived Thursday afternoon for the reunion but one more is expected to come here before the reunion ends Sunday.

Maldonado was her wearing a necklace and bracelet that her grandmother gave her.

A schoolteacher, Maldonado had her third graders make replicas of the battleship to put on tables at the hospitality suite where the reunion is based.

Those at the reunion are: Paul Goodyear, 93, Casa Grande, Ariz.; Ed Vezey, 92, of Moore; Harold Johnson, 88, Oak Harbor, Wash., and William Hendley, 91, Wilmington, N.C. Hendley was transferred off the ship a month before the attack.

Goodyear and Vezey were on the deck of The Oklahoma as sailors were told to go to their battle stations.

They got off the ship as it began to capsize.



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