Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 5, 2010

USS Arizona survivors to speak at Las Positas College

Wednesday symposium part of college's Veterans Day observances

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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

The one-hour symposium will be held at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 10 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 Nov. 11.

In the Japanese attack on 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


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields