Chapter Luncheon

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Guest Speaker: Mr. Parks Stephenson '79

In October 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, a small group of U.S. Navy ships were unexpectedly engaged by 23 Japanese warships.  Outnumbered, CDR Ernest Evans boldly turned USS JOHNSTON (DD 557) toward the enemy and engaged, hoping to buy the other American warships time to get away. 

After a fierce battle, the 115-meter long USS JOHNSTON (DD 557) sank off the coast of the Philippines into the Philippine Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.  Of the crew of 327, only 141 survived.  The remains of the USS JOHNTON currently lie 6.5km (4 miles) beneath the Philippine Sea!

Our special guest, Historian Parks Stephenson ’79, helped discover the deepest known shipwrecks in the world – including the USS JOHNSTON (DD 557).  Now, he’s learning how she sank and who went down with the ship.  Putting together a 3D rendering that shows where the ship got hit and in what order, Parks hopes to figure out how she ended up on the ocean floor.

Victor Vescovo, who led the expedition said: “The wreck is so deep so there's very little oxygen down there, and while there is a little bit of contamination from marine life, it's remarkably well intact except for the damage it took from the furious fight.”  Now with Parks’ 3D renderings, families of Sailors who perished can understand exactly what happened in USS JONSTON’s final hours and how she sank.

 

Please join us at Dave and Busters for our monthly chapter luncheon on Wednesday, 18 May to hear this remarkable story of exploration and discovery from Parks himself!

Details:

When: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Where: Dave and Busters, Mission Valley, 2931 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108
Check In: 11:30 AM
Lunch: 12:00 PM
Cost: $25 for Members, $35 for Non-members ($40 at the door with no RSVP)

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