60 men lost their lives when the USS Emmons was attacked off the coast of Japan in 1945. Dozens more were wounded.
13 of the 49 surviving shipmates of the ship recently gathered at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks to honor their fellow soldiers lost that day.
It has become a tradition to do so — each year, a different east coast town has served as the host of the reunions, which began in the 1950's. 2012 marked the first year the reunion was held in Windsor Locks and Windsor, where a ceremony was held at the Mariott.
For Ed Hoffman, survivor of the attack on the USS Emmons and secretary of the Emmons Association, the reunion serves as a time for all to recognize the sacrifices made by those fighting in World War II.
The importance of the sacrifices made has not been lost, as Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Sat., September 22 as "USS Emmons Day" in Connecticut.
The ship itself played an integral role in the United States' efforts during the second World War.
The ship served as a destroyer in the European and Pacific theaters, eventually being converted to a destroyer minesweeper in 1944.
The ship and her crew provided support during D-Day on the beaches of Normandy, France. Nearly one year later, she was struck by five kamikaze pilots off of Okinawa, Japan.
The ship was not recovered until 2001.