NEW TOWN Former crew members of the USS Arikara, a ship that saw service through World War II, Korea and Vietnam and also peace time, will be holding a reunion in North Dakota for the first time.
On Tuesday, June 19, an open house will be held for the crew members who served on the USS Arikara when people are encouraged to stop by and visit with them.
The open house will be from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Arikara Room in the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, west of New Town.
About 10 crew members will be at the reunion. The group includes Steven Ussery, a Navy veteran from North Carolina who served aboard the Arikara during the Vietnam War.
Marilyn Hudson, administrator of the Three Tribes Museum near New Town, said Ussery visited the museum about two years ago to meet Austin Gillette and others, discussing his idea to hold a reunion in North Dakota.
Gillette, a Vietnam veteran, is a former longtime White Shield representatives to the Three Affiliated Tribes' business council and former tribal chairman.
White Shield is the home of the Arikara, the tribe the USS Arikara was named.
According to the USS Arikara website:
The USS Arikara was a Navy ocean going tug. The ship was laid down (the first parts of the keel are placed on the slipwayor drydock where the ship is to be built) as AT 98 on Jan. 10, 1943, and launched on June 22, 1943. The USS Arikara (AT 98) was commissioned on Jan. 5, 1944. The Arikara as well as others of the AT class was re-designated as (ATF 98) on May 15, 1944.
The ship was decommissioned July 1, 1971, and immediately transferred to Chile as Sargento Aledea (ATF 63). After 21 years in the Chilean navy, she was decommissioned on Aug. 14, 1992, and subsequently sunk as a target.
The ship earned battle stars in all three wartimes.
While visiting Fort Berthold Reservation, the crew members and their family members will spend a day in White Shield where a program is being planned for them and also have a day for their group meetings. They will conclude their visit attending the Nuxbaaga Celebration, the powwow at Parshall.
For more information about the open house on Tuesday, contact the Three Tribes Museum at 627-4477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org