LEWISTON — The Northeast Chapter of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association, one of 34 chapters nationwide, will observe DE Day on Saturday, June 16. Memorial services will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park to honor the 15 Destroyer Escort ships lost in combat during World War II. Gov. Paul LePage has proclaimed June 16 as DE Day in the state. Color guard for the ceremonies will be provided by the L/A Veterans Council.

Following the ceremonies, a luncheon will be held at Pedro O’Hara’s restaurant, followed by a short business meeting.

Five U.S. Navy yards and 12 shipbuilding companies launched 563 of these Destroyer Escort vessels between 1942 and 1945. The 300-foot ships carried a crew of approximately 300 officers and men and proved to be effective for services far beyond their original purpose of anti-submarine warfare and escort duties. This ability was demonstrated in their effort as partners in the Normandy and southern France invasions, and in the Pacific as they fought Japanese warships at Samar and Leyte Gulf and on the Okinawa Picket Line.

Any U.S. Navy or Coast Guard veteran who served aboard a DE, APD or 1000-Class FF is eligible for membership. For more information call Jack Coady at 782-6443 in Auburn or Norman Demers at 782-6468 in Lewiston.

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