on Dec. 7, 1941, when his PBY “flying boat” aircraft
was strafed by Japanese aircraft at Kaneohe Naval Air
Griffin, a graduate of the former Colorado Springs
High School, also received special recognition during a
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day community observance
at the Pioneer Museum Dec. 7, according to Halyards.
Colorado Springs Council President Dave Rogers gave
the presentation, which also recognized local Pearl
Harbor survivors Jim Downing, Lou Brockly, George
Blake and Don Stratton, who was aboard USS Arizona
during the attack.
Mayor John Suthers was guest speaker during the
event, which was attended by more than 200 people,
and related his personal family history of Pearl Harbor
and World War II in Colorado Springs. Wreaths were
posted for each branch of the services. Doherty High
School Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets
provided honors during the ceremony.
In Hawaii, Colorado Springs National Director
Richard Cooper and his wife, Gail, joined Griffin’s
son Donald and his wife Donnell for the Pearl Harbor
75th remembrance ceremony at what is now Marine
Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. According to Dick
Cooper, they presented an honorary lei on the Navy
League’s behalf at the memorial marker that honors
the service members and civilians killed at the base
during the attack. Gail Cooper later presented a lei in
memory of her nephew’s grandfather, who was lost
on USS Arizona.
Donald Griffin also served in the Navy, retiring
as a chief petty officer in 1977. His family makes it a
practice to honor his father by visiting Kaneohe Bay
each Dec. 7, according to Cooper. Daniel Griffin had a
destroyer escort named in his honor on June 9, 1943.
His widow, Lucille, was the ship’s sponsor. Daniel T.
Griffin survived three kamikaze attacks during World
War II and served in the Navy fleet until 1966.
Maui Hosts John Paul Jones
The Maui, Hawaii, Council rolled out the welcome mat
for the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones when
it made a port call to Lahaina Nov. 14-18. The council
hosted the ship and crew during the visit, and many a
meal was provided to the officers and crew around town,
according to Council Treasurer Greg Brazil.
From the left, Donald Griffin and his wife, Donnell, stand with Colorado Springs Council National Director Richard Cooper and his wife, Gail, at the
memorial honoring the 18 service members and two civilians lost at Kaneohe Naval Air Station during the Pearl Harbor attack, including Griffin’s
father, Daniel. They presented an honorary lei on the Navy League’s behalf at the memorial marker.
Maui, Hawaii, Council members gather on the bow of the guided-missile
destroyer USS John Paul Jones during a tour of the ship Nov. 17.
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NAVY LEAGUE NEWS: COUNCIL DIGEST