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Ceremony marks 80th anniversary of West Loch disaster

A ceremony honoring the 80th anniversary of the West Loch disaster was held on Tuesday. The disaster occurred on May 21, 1944, while Army Ordnance troops loaded mortar ammunition onto the LST-353, a 1-class tank landing ship, when there was an explosion, which spread to other landing craft preparing for the invasion of Saipan.

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A sailor holds the name of one of the fallen to be read aloud at the ceremony and tucked into a wreath.
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Sailors from several units on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam attended the ceremony. A wreath was placed in the water from a boat to honor those who died.
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Attendees held a salute while taps played.
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Speaking at the remembrance is LCDR Michell Dugan, Commanding Officer, Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Pearl Harbor.
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Playing taps is First Class Petty Officer Matthew Kinneman.
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Holding the wreath which was to be set afloat is Gunners Mate First Class Elijah Reid with Gunners Mate First Class Maxwell Beers wtih LCDR Michell Dugan, Commanding Officer, Navy Munitions Command Pacific East Asia Division Unit Pearl Harbor following behind.
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U.S. Navy sailors file in line to be ferried to the site of the memorial.
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A wreath was placed in the water from a boat to honor those who died.
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Navy veteran and member of the AMVETS West Loch Post Michael Myers attended the ceremony on Tuesday.
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The rusted remains of LST-353.

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