USS Arizona survivors to speak at Las Positas College

Wednesday symposium part of college's Veterans Day observances

Las Positas College will hold a free history symposium featuring three survivors of the USS Arizona tomorrow as part of its Veterans Day observances.

The one-hour symposium will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the new Barbara Fracisco Mertes Center for the Arts.

History instructor Stuart McElderry will facilitate the symposium, which takes place the day before Veterans Day. The USS Arizona sank at Pearl Harbor in the attack by Japanese planes Dec. 7, 1941.

"This is an amazing opportunity to learn about our country's history from three American heroes," said Todd Steffan, Las Positas College Veterans First coordinator

"We are especially honored that these heroes will be visiting our campus the day before Veterans Day," he added, noting that Las Positas College will also feature a full day of Veterans Day activities on Nov. 11.

In the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States involvement in World War II, 1,177 crew members aboard the USS Arizona were killed -- the most recorded casualties on any American warship. Only 18 survivors remain today.

The three surviving veterans who will participate in the Las Positas College symposium are as follows:

• Lonnie D. Cook, 89, Chief Gunners Mate, eight years with U.S. Navy, traveling from Tulsa, Okla.

• Clarendon "Clare" R. Hetrick, 89, Master Sergeant, more than 10 years in U.S. Navy and 10 years in U.S. Air Force, traveling from Bull Head City, Ariz.

• Louis A. Conter, 87, Lieutenant Commander, 28 years in U.S. Navy, traveling from Grass Valley.

To learn more about the Veterans First Program, visit or contact Todd Steffan,

Las Positas College Veterans First Coordinator ,at 424-1571 or email

Campus parking is $2; purchase day permits at the machines in parking lots.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by TetVet68
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Remember Pearl Harbor -- Keep America Alert!

(Now deceased) America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 101st year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

(Now deceased) 'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.), is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat Radioman/Gunner (1920s/1930s) in the tactical air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

Visit my photo album tribute to these centenarian veteran shipmates and other Pearl Harbor survivors:

Web Link

Web Link

San Diego, California

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Premarital and Existing Couples: Marriage Rules: Yours, Mine, or Ours?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 966 views

Three Alameda County Supervisors vote thumbs down on public safety
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 632 views

Council halts plans for 90-home senior housing on Merritt property
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 364 views