Tribute was paid to American submarine veterans and the 54 boats lost in World War II and the Cold War era at a touching ceremony at California State University, Fresno on Friday, March 1.
Two submarine veterans organizations, with assistance from Army and Air Force ROTC students at Fresno State, dedicated a monument and 54 tulip trees on the grassy Maple Avenue mall.
The memorial is the first honoring lost submarines and crew members to be located on a university campus, according to Joseph A. Cox, president of Fresno chapter of the United States Submarine Veterans of World War II. The chapter and the Wahoo Base of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc. are sponsoring the event, along with Fresno State.
The ceremony included a “tolling of the boats,” in which the sub’s name, how it was lost and the number of men lost are announced and a bell is tolled. For each, a submarine veteran saluted an American flag posted at the tree and a submariner’s wife placed a flower at the base of the tree, next to a marker listing the name of the boat and date lost.