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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | VENTURA

1923 Navy Shipwreck Disaster That Killed 23 Is Remembered

September 09, 1998|JASON TAKENOUCHI

Navy veteran Allen Guzikowski stayed home Tuesday when survivors and supporters gathered at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara to remember the 75th anniversary of one of the worst peacetime disasters in Navy history.

But the Ventura resident said he still recalls his small role in bringing the tragic event back into the public eye.

Guzikowski was one of several reservists who helped build a monument in 1975 to the Point Honda disaster in which seven Navy destroyers ran aground off the Santa Barbara County coast Sept. 8, 1923, claiming 23 lives.

"The best way to forget something is to not put up a memorial," the Ventura resident said. "It was one of those things that the Navy wants to forget."

Guzikowski, who did not have any relatives involved in the incident, missed the Tuesday memorial to rest after a recent surgery.

Air Force Major John Cherry, who helped organize the event at Vandenberg, said remembering the disaster is important because Point Honda resulted in several changes to Navy policy on fleet movements. Cherry said it was also an opportunity to "give these sailors their due."

"It has been a labor of love," he said.

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