- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A survivor of the sinking of the USS West Virginia, one of the oldest survivors of Japan’s surprise attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, plans to attend the 150th anniversary next month of West Virginia University, where the ship’s mast and bell are displayed.

Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing, now 104, is scheduled to be honored by alumni at a ceremony Nov. 3 on the Morgantown campus and recognized during the WVU football game the next day.

The ship was sunk by torpedoes and bombs on Dec. 7, 1941. It was raised, salvaged, repaired and used later in World War II.

When the Japanese attacked, Downing was a gunner’s mate who was onshore and rushed back to the ship, where he has recalled trying to extinguish fires.

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