1st. USS Donner LSD-20 Reunion 

was held April 14-16,1999 in Hamel,IL. 53 shipmates were present in the community center. 
Old times were remembered and not forgotten. On display were memorabilia of the Donner: pictures, cruise books, 1968 Pennant and more! 

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2nd Donner Reunion April 27-30, 2000 in Virginia Beach, VA. 

80 registered Donner shipmates. Over 130 attended [10 officers among them 3 former CO's Cmdr's. Cornetta, Harlan, and Malone] the Saturday nights banquet. Over the weekend, professional tours were conducted of Norfolk, (NOB/NAS) Norfolk Naval Station, Little Creek Va. Amphibious Base and the LSD-41 USS Whidbey Island.  

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3rd Donner Reunion May 6-9, 2001 in St. Petersburg Beach FL.

56 registered shipmates attended the banquet at the Holiday Inn     St. Petersburg Beach, FL.  Busses toured shipmates and guests to breakfast on the beach at Pass-A-Grille, sights of St. Petersburg, FL. and shopping at the Pier, and an evening at the dog races in Tampa, FL.  A luncheon cruise of the St. Pete Beach inner coastal waterway brought much conversation, the remembering old times, and the traditional song Anchors A-Weigh with many other favorites.   

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4th Donner Reunion May 20-22, 2002 in Branson, MO.

The 4th reunion of the USS DONNER LSD 20  was held in Branson, Mo. at the Welk Resort.  There  were approximately 72 in attendance. Some of the activities were the Welk Show with the Lennon Sisters, the Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise, the Presley Show, the Lennon Brothers and a sightseeing tour. A Memorial Service was held at Tablerock  Lake with the Branson VFW Color Guard performing the ceremony. Each morning we enjoyed a full breakfast buffet at the Stage Door Canteen. On the last evening of the reunion we had our Buffet Banquet and entertainment. 

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5th Donner Reunion April 27-30, 2003 - Charleston, SC.

Over 135 attended the banquet at the Town & Country Inn and Conference Center.  Several drawings were conducted for valuable prizes, raising $338 for our troops overseas. Daily tours were conducted to Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown CV 10, a submarine and other ships at Patriots Point, and tours of Old Charleston and the Boone Hall Plantation. Each morning a breakfast buffet was the start of our day.

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6th Donner Reunion May 1-4, 2004 - Salem/Boston, MA. 

Held at the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA., the 6th USS Donner LSD 20 reunion provided memories, tours of Boston & Salem Massachusetts area sites to over 80 attendees. Included were Spirit of Boston luncheon cruise, Tours of Old Colonial Salem, Lexington & Concord, Mass., Quincy Market, Charles River & back bay (in amphib. DUC's). Donner sailors and family members were saluted during the annual memorial service held at dry dock #2 Charlestown (Boston) Navy Yard. At this site 60 years ago, the USS Donner was built. US Coast Guard Saluted in full dress, at side rail aboard their Cutter that flanked dry dock #2.  Hosted in the grand ball room, the annual Donner banquet was enjoyed by all.  Each morning a breakfast buffet started our day.

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7th Donner Reunion May 1-4, 2005  - Mobile, AL.

126 Shipmates, wives, family and friends attended a patriotic musical & banquet at the Riverview Plaza Hotel, Mobile, AL. The 7th annual USS Donner LSD 20 reunion gave attendees a tour of historic Mobile, City of Six flags: French, English, Spanish, Independent Alabama, Confederate States and USA. Bus tours allowed all to see Old Fort Conde (1702), the Historic Districts of Mobile such as De Tonti Square where tea was served by the DAR at The Richards Ante-bellum House (1860). Then on to USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, where many shipmates got reaquainted to shipboard life retelling many a sea story. The USS Donner Memorial Service was held aboard the "fantail" of the Alabama. Luncheon in the Aviation Pavilion and tours of USS Drum submarine were available. On the second day, busses were boarded for the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL. Lunch was served at the Lighthouse Point NCO Club. Each morning a full breakfast was served in the hotel dinning room to start our day. 

[7th Reunion Pictures]

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8th Donner Reunion April 30 - May 3,2006 - Reno, NV.

More than 90 Donner Shipmates, wives, family and friends attended the two and a half day reunion at Harrah's Reno Hotel, which included "Night on the Town" show by Bareback. The Boatswain's pipe sounded a call to order by Mike Stefanidis at the Donner Memorial Statue and the Memorial Service was conducted by Jim Palmer with the assisitance of his family and shipmates. The newly aquired "Donner ships bell" was rung by Gerry Tesar for each name read by Bob Mclellan, Vic DiChiro, and George Hovey.  The memorial wreath placed by retired Captains Richard Hurt and John Stewart. A 20 minute Donner Party film was shown to all Donner visitors. The entire event was covered by the Sierra Sun newspaper featuring quotes by Ed Smith, Ken Winter and Ron Luxon.  The buses resumed the tour to Truckee, CA for a lunch, and on to Lake Tahoe in the rugged and beautiful Sierra Nevadas. Many shipmates and wives,family and friends attended the Dinner that evening.  The following day the tour traveled to silver mining town Virginia City, NV. Then it was back to Harrah's for Photos and the Annual Banquet, along with door prizes and raffle gifts. After  free time for gaming each evening, in the morning a full breakfast was served in the hotel dinning room to start our day. 

[8th Reunion Pictures] 

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9th Donner Reunion May 3 - May 6, 2007 - Valley Forge, PA 

A welcome dinner was held at the Inn of Valley Forge the evening of May 3rd with entertainment by the "Andrews Sisters" and six children of the entertainers conducted a sing along with all present of Sound of Music songs.  May 4th the annual memorial service was conducted by Jim Palmer aboard the USS New Jersey BB62 with bible readings by Diana Tesar, Roll of names by James V Phillips and laying of the memorial wreath by Mike Stefanidis and Ellis Beiblehiemer.  The buses continued on to Independence Hall near the Liberty bell.  Lunch and the gift shops were visited in the Brouse building.  Upon our return, historic Christ's Church was or last stop containing a baptismal over 600 years old. Raffle and door prizes were given after the annual business meeting.  May 5th historic Valley Forge was toured by bus and a special presentation was viewed by all celebrating the French Alliance of the American revolution. Afterward  shopping and lunch at the world's largest "King of Prussia Mall". Then it was back to the Inn at Valley Forge for Photos and the annual Banquet with a special Elvis entertaining all shipmates wives and friends. Dancing included the STROLL and jitterbugging.  Each morning a full breakfast was served in a reserved room at the hotel to start our day.  

[9th Reunion Pictures]  

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10th Donner Reunion May 2-5, 2008 - St. Louis, MO at the Sheraton Hotel at Westport  

There were approximately 90 shipmates, wives, and friends in attendance.  The festivities began with a Welcome Reception on the evening of May 2.  Wine, cheese and hor d’oeurvres were served in the hospitality room. On the morning of May 3, the annual memorial service was held in the chapel of  Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. We then visited, shopped and had lunch at Union Station. We were also able to visit the New Cathedral (at which Pope John Paul once spoke) and the Gateway Arch.  A bus tour of the city gave us an opportunity to see Forest Park, the massive Barnes-Jewish Hospital Complex and Washington University.  We returned to the hotel for our annual business meeting, which included a beautiful tribute to Tom Nelson, by John Fuchs.  The evening concluded with a raffle of wonderful prizes and socializing.  On May 3, we took a tour of historical St. Charles, MO, which included a visit to a Veterans Memorial.  Afterwards, we toured Anheuser-Bush Brewery, and sampled some of the product.  Returning to the hotel, we prepared for picture taking and the Banquet.  Entertainment was provided by Oliver Johnson, one man band, and the remarkable St. Louis Strutters.  A buffet breakfast was provided each morning, in the hospitality room.  

Reunion Hosts: Langston and Georgeanna Jackson. 

10th Reunion Pictures

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11th Donner Reunion April 23 thru 26, 2009 - Alexandria VA

We just completed our 11th reunion, and all had a wonderful time. Lets take a trip down memories lane to see what went on.

Day one: Welcome all aboard, we had a great buffet and were entertained by Old Blue eyes. All the swabies and guest enjoyed the hospitality room. We shared lots of stories about our Donner experiences, renewing old friendships and making new ones.

Day two: Early buffet and liberty call at 0900 for Bus tour to the Naval academy in Annapolis, Md. Tour started with talk and side presentation from one of the retired Navy Captains. We toured the complex saw the midshipmen at the parade grounds for their lunch. We had lunch at the academy and went to the visitor’s center. Some folk’s toured the beautiful town of Annapolis other went to visit the capital of Maryland. In the evening we had our Business meeting had light finger food in the hospitality room. We had our famous raffle. The reunion members donated a fabulous amount of gifts.

Day three: Early buffet and liberty call at 0900 for Bus tour to Washington DC and the Navy Memorial First stop was the Second World War memorial. It was well done honoring all the brave men and women who served during this time in history. Next we visited the Korean Memorial, those bronze figures were breathing taking, sad, but heart warming at the same time. Our last visit to the memorials was the Vietnam. It was a warm day and there were lots of visitors there, the silence was amazing you could feel the compassion of all the visitors there. We then went to the Navy Memorial for the highlight of the trip. We had our Donner memorial service in their beautiful theater was grand to see the USS DONNER LSD 20 in the video slide, we were all so proud. Then we had the pleasure of presenting our plaque for all generation to see. We then toured Washington DC in the bus. Back to the Hotel for dress uniforms, pictures, and the main banquet. We had entertainment DJ who played background music during Dinner. After Dinner we had dancing, and sang Happy Birthday to Peggy. We them did karaoke; the talent was just great, we were sorry to see the evening come to a close.

Day Four: Sad day we said our good bye and on a pleasant note see you all again next year.

 John and Dolly Fuchs hosted this Reunion 

11th Reunion Pictures

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12th Donner reunion April 29 thru May 2 2010  - San Antonio, TX 

Judging by what participants have told and written me as recently as this morning, the reunion was a huge success. Everything went like clockwork. The hotel was on the river and projected a tropical atmosphere, the staff was responsive at all times and the supervising manager equally helpful whenever we changed or needed something out of the ordinary: Breakfast was good and prompt, not to forget that it was free as well, the dinner on Saturday was tasty and served in minimum time. The DJ music was exceptional and tailored to our crowd.

Both tours were very informative and attention grabbers. Our guides knew their "stuff," and guided our members through the Texas countryside and historical locations with great expertise and interest. Buses were punctual at all times. Both riverboats were on-time and guided our men and women through San Antonio River history with much humor and historical knowledge. The Mariachi Trio which introduced our members to local music was superb and of the highest quality. Their name of "Vargas Mariachi" is associated with a traditional Mexico City group of musicians, adhering to the highest standards, forming a reputations in that genre of music which has lasted for over 100 years.

The COSTCO spread eaten on Friday was fresh from the market and made hours before we picked it up and served at 6pm. We even had the bus driver take the bus over to COSTCO, to pick the food up for us. No mean feat because the bus was very long, holding some 60 people. The bus itself was of the latest edtion, i.e., super quality, very comfortable and quiet. It goes without mention that Peggy Winters excelled in pulling money out of our wallets. The raffle formed a major part of our entertainment on Fridays. Winners of bids on gifts were happy to have won. Peggy made her budget, as always and significantly contributed to the funding of our expenses.  

The Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg was all inclusive, and of the finest quality for a regional location. Explanations were plentiful, as were static exhibits which included aircraft, a tank and an Admirals Barge.  Too much to see in just two hours but also inviting enough for a return trip. The Mission of San Jose displayed the very early history of Spanish occupation in this stretch of Indian Territory. Effects from this occupation can still be seen to this day. The adjoining museum managed by the Park Service was informative. Facilities were new and clean. The Alamo was somewhat crowded as can be expected but also formed the center piece of our visit to San Antonio. Our members interest was great bordering on the passionate, as demonstrated by Mike Stefanidis whose Bucket List is now one item shorter. 

All-in-all, great fun was had by all including participating new members who were impressed by our esprit de corps, as were other military reunion guests of the hotel whose comments I've heard on several occasions.

John Liczbinski hosted this reunion.   

12th Reunion Pictures

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13th Donner reunion April 28 thru May 1, 2011 - Nashville, TN 

There were approximately 80 shipmates, wives and friends in attendance.  Wine, cheese, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments were served in the hospitality room.  The festivities began with a welcome reception and buffet dinner on the evening of April 28th.  The Dave and Daphne Show entertained us with their country music.  On the morning of April 29th, a bus tour of the city gave us an opportunity to see the the city of Nashville including the historic sites in the State Capitol area, homes of the country music stars, World War II museum, many more sites.  The afternoon began with a luncheon cruise served family style aboard the General Jackson Steamboat, an authentic paddle wheeler, showing the sites along a stretch of the Cumberland River.  Steve Hall & The Shotgun Red Show featured Nashville music.  We returned to the hotel for our annual USS Donner Shipmates memorial service and afterward the annual business meeting, where the USS Donner  ship's flag was presented to shipmates and all attending.  The meeting concluded with a raffle of wonderful prizes and socializing.  On April 30th, we had a free day with no scheduled tour.  Many on their own toured the Nashville area, Grand Ole Opry Hotel complex, Downtown Nashville, Natchez Trace terminus city park with the replica of the Parthenon, Vanderbuilt University, President Jackson's home, The Hermitage.  In the evening, we prepared for picture taking and the banquet.  Entertainment was provided by a DJ with music hits from the 50's & 60's and dancing.  A buffet breakfast with custom omelettes was provided each morning in the hotel restaurant.

Reunion Hosts:  Peggy Winter and Terry Cumbee

13th Reunion Pictures

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14th Donner reunion May 17 thru May 20, 2012 - Louisville, KY

The 14th Donner reunion was held at the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel in Jeffersonville, IN.  There were approximately 60 shipmates, wives and friends in attendance.  A group welcome dinner was held at the hotel on Thursday night May 17th.  The dinner featured some speciality foods associated with the area and the Kentucky Derby season.
There was a video of Kentucky's foremost humorist and prizes.  The hospitality room was opened for further reacquaintence and fellowship.  

On Friday May 18th a tour of the City of Louisville, Churchill Downs, and Louisville Slugger Bat Factory was conducted.  The tour took us to Old Historic Louisville where there is a treasure-trove of more than 1400 Victorian homes, St.James Court, and other places of interest.  A 30 minute
guided walking tour of Churchill Downs  was provided.  Last was a guided tour of the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory  to see how the bats are made.

A Memorial Service was held at Riverside Park that featured the Floyd Central High School Junior Navy ROTC.  

On Saturday May 19th a driving tour through the rolling bluegrass pastures trimmed by miles of painted wooden fences, picturesque pastoral scenes, A visit to a thoroughbread horse farm and a visit to the famous Keeneland Race Track where Sheiks and queens come to buy their yearlings.  

A Banquet Dinner was held Saturday night.  The evening starts with a cash bar while pictures were taken.  Everyone enjoyed a dinner with more regional favorites, followed by the ladies Derby Hat Parade that was the entertainment of the evening. 

Reunion Hosts:  Marvin and Nina Bridgewater

14th Reunion Pictures

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15th Donner reunion May 2nd thru May 4th, 2013 - Warwick, RI 

The 15th Donner reunion was held at the Crown Plaza at the Crossings Hotel in Warwick, RI .  We had 60 people in attendance at the reunion.   The weather was nice.  We had two tours.  One at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut and also the USS Nautlus Museum.  The other was the Naval Base in Newport and the Breaders Mansion.  We had nice entertainment at 
the dinner.  All that came had a good time.  Their was plenty of snacks and drinks.  The hospitality room was always open to satisfy drinking of all kinds.   
It is alway fun to get together with shipmates.  We had a couple of new shipmates come to the reunion.  The last day is always sad but we know we will meet again next year.  

Reunion Hosts:  Jim and Ruthlyn Palmer and their daughter Diana

15th Reunion Pictures

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16th Donner reunion May 1st thru May 4th, 2014 - Norfolk, Virginia 

The 16th annual USS Donner reunion was held at the Lake Wright Quality Suites Hotel in Norfolk, Va.  We had 70 people in attendance at the reunion.  There was a hospitality room available throughout the period of the reunion that had sandwiches, snacks and beverages for all who attended.  A full hot breakfast buffet was provided as part of the Quality Suites room rate.  Two tours were available for members to take. 

On Friday May 2, 2014 a riding Virginia Beach tour down the resort strip seeing the historic Cavalier Hotel and learning about the history of Virginia's largest city.  Next a visit to see the First Landing Cross at Cape Henry where the English colonists first came ashore in 1607 prior to settling at nearby Jamestown.  A walk out on the overlook to see where the bay and ocean meet, and where the famous Battle of the Capes took place during the Revolutionary War.  We enjoyed a stop at the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792, that was active until the late 1800's and is currently a Virginia Historic Landmark.  We enjoyed a windshield tour of the Joint Expeditionary Base West (Little Creek), formerly the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek and a ride by pier 13 the berth of USS Donner LSD-20.  A stop at the Little Creek CPO Club for lunch was next on the agenda followed by a acctive duty ship visit on the USS Tortuga LSD-46.  

On Saturday May 3, 2014 a riding Norfolk City tour through the lovely historic distric and restored areas.  View the stately homes along The Hague, Old St. Paul's Church, the Moses Myers House, the Chrysler Museum of Art, MacArthur Memorial, the historic Freemason District, Nauticus, and the Battleship Wisconsin.  A stop at the Lone Sailor Memorial in Wisconsin Square for a memorial service.  The Lone Sailor represents all people who have ever served, are serving now, or who are yet to serve in the United States Navy.  After the memorial service we boarded the Victory Rover for a two hour cruise through the bustling Hampton Roads Harbor.  During the cruise we saw aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, guided cruisers and all of the other ships that form the most powerful armada.  The tour ended with a visit to the Nauticus Gift Shop.

Saturday evening was the banquet dinner.   We started with photo's being taken followed by a fantistic meal and fellowship with shipmates.  Entertainment was provided by the Norfolk Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society followed by Donovan who sang and played many known songs.  We finished the evening with beverages in the hospitality room.  

John and Jan Keeter hosted the reunion.

16th Reunion Pictures
16th Reunion Pictures 
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17th Donner Reunion May 14 - 17, 2015  Independence, OH

The 17th annual USS Donner Reunion was held at the Holiday Inn, Independence, OH.  We had 56 people in attendance at the reunion.  There was a hospitality room available throughout the period of the reunion that had sandwiches, snacks and beverages for all who attended.  A full hot breakfast buffet was provided as part of the Quality Suites room rate.  Two tours were available for members to take. 

Friday May 15th began with a city tour on our way to the luncheon cruise aboard the Nautica Queen.  The cruise took us under historic bridges and breathtaking views of Downtown Cleveland's skyline.  After the cruise we continued on the city tour.

Saturday May 16th took us to the USS Cod SS-224 for a Memorial Service and tour aboard this World War II submarine.  We then took a short ride to tour the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument that commemorates the American Civil War.  The interior of this monument has just been restored.  Free time was given for lunch/shopping in Tower City or to spend time at the Horseshoe Casino to try their luck.

Saturday evening was the banquet dinner.   We started with photo's being taken followed by a fantistic meal and fellowship with shipmates.   We finished the evening with beverages in the hospitality room.  

George and Sally Hovey  and Jerry and Diana Tasar hosted the reunion.

17th Reunion Pictures
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18th Donner Reunion April 25 - 27 2016 Harrisburg - Hershey, PA

The 18th annual USS Donner reunion was held at the Red Lion Hotel, Harrisburg, PA.  We had 63 people in attendance at the reunion.  There was a hospitality room available throughout the period of the reunion that had sandwiches, snacks and beverages for all who attended.  A full hot breakfast buffet was provided as part of the room rate.  Two tours were available for members to take. 

Tuesday April 26 started with a tour of Lanaster County with a one hour Farmland tour.  A visit to Fisher Farm for an Amish house tour and also to the Kitchen Kettle Village for lunch and an optional 35 minute buggy ride.  

Wednesday April 27 began with a visit to Fort Indiantown Gap for a Memorial Service in the Chapel.  Lunch was at the Community Club Cafeteria and then a visit to hocolate World, Hershey PA.  A tour of the PA State Capital in Harrisburg finished off the day.

Wednesday evening was the banquet dinner.   We started with photo's being taken followed by a fantistic meal and fellowship with shipmates.   We finished the evening with beverages in the hospitality room.  

Dennise and Alice Heimbach hosted the reunion.

18th Reunion Pictures

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19th Donner Reunion 

The 19th annual USS Donner reunion was held at the Wyndham Savannah from April 24 through 27, 2017.  We had 66 people in attendance at the reunion.  There was a hospitality room available throughout the period of the reunion that had sandwiches, snacks and beverages for all who attended there was a wonderful welcoming dinner served at 6:00 pm on Monday evening.  A full hot breakfast buffet was provided as part of the room rate. Two tours were available for members to take.  We started out on Tuesday morning with a tour of the Might 8 in Savannah, including lunch, our memorial service and optional shopping at the Tanger Outlets following the tour program.  Wednesday morning we headed out for a trolley tour of the Savannah Historic District, declared a National Historic Landmark in the late 60's, where we were able to get on & off at several interesting stops on the tour and have lunch near the scenic river.  Later that day, we dressed for photographs.  A picture album will be sent to all the participants of our great event.  We convened to enjoy our banquet together at the Hotel Hospitality Suite.  As is customary, there were loads of wonderful items up for the raffle and many smiling faces who won the treasures.  Farewells were shared at breakfast on Thursday morning among all with best wishes until next we meet.

Peggy Winter & Terry Cumbee hosted the reunion

19th Reunion Pictures
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20th Donner Reunion

The 20th USS Donner Memorial Association reunion was held April 30 thru May 3, 2018 at the beautiful Cape Codder Resort & Spa located in Hyannis, MA.


20th Reunion Pictures
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Donner Shipmates 
Contact the
USS Donner Memorial  Association why not become a member?
enjoy the good times!
ANCHORS A-WEIGH

ANCHORS A-WEIGH MY BOYS ---
ANCHORS A-WEIGH
FAREWELL TO COLLEGE JOYS
WE SAIL AT BREAK OF DAY
DAY -- DAY -- DAY

ROLL OUT THE T.N.T. 
ANCHORS A-WEIGH
SAIL ON TO VICTORY
HERE'S WISHING YOU 
A HAPPY VOYAGE HOME !!

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THE MARINE's HYMN

From the halls of Montezuma,
to the shores of Tripoli
We will fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea.

First to fight for right and freedom,
and to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title 
of United States Marine.

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2018
USS Donner LSD 20
 Shipmates 20th Reunion

Cape Codder Resort & Spa
Hyannis, MA
April 30 thru May 3, 2018
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