Join Battleship IOWA Museum in honor of three heroes for the 6th Annual VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Leadership & Service Awards. This year’s honorees include Judge Mablean Ephriam, a former Los Angeles prosecuting attorney and star of Tyler Perry’s “Madea” films, whose charitable foundation’s mission is to strengthen families, educate minds, and financially empower the impoverished communities of Los Angeles County; Bill Coggins, Fulbright scholar, Army veteran, and founder of the Watts Counseling and Learning Center; and VADM Walter Davis (Ret.), electrical engineer, scientist, co-founder of a tech incubator, and decorated Navy admiral including service as a Vietnam-era pilot, aircraft carrier CO and battle group Commander. The recipients of the 2019 VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Leadership & Service Award, exemplify the three pillars of Pacific Battleship Center, the non-profit arm of Battleship IOWA Museum: education, veterans and community.
The awards event on February 21 at 5:30 p.m. is free to attend. Space is limited and RSVP is essential. To confirm attendance, reserve tickets online. A sunset reception precedes the evening award program on the fantail of the Battleship IOWA Museum. In addition to recognizing the three Leadership & Service Award honorees, the Celebration experience includes the winner of the Gravely Student Essay Contest, which challenges high school students to explore VADM Gravely’s motto: Education, Motivation & Perseverance. During the event, students and adult honorees will join on stage to reflect on the life and service of Samuel L. Gravely and share stories of resiliency with the audience.
Battleship IOWA Museum is located at 250 South Harbor Boulevard, Berth 87 in San Pedro. The phone is (877-446-9261) or 310-971-4462. For more information about the Gravely Celebration Experience and to reserver tickets, visitgravelyexperience.org orFacebook.
About VADM Samuel L. Gravely (Ret.):
Samuel Gravely was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD 717)); command a major warship (USS Jouett (DLG 29)); to achieve flag rank and eventually vice admiral, and to command a numbered fleet (U.S. 3rd). Throughout his career, Gravely received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal. The destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), commissioned in 2010, was named in his honor. Upon leaving active duty, Admiral Gravely continued to work in Washington on defense coordination and satellite communications. He retired in 1980 as director of the Defense Communications Agency in Washington, overseeing the communications network linking Washington with American and allied bases worldwide. In 2019, VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr was inducted into the Surface Navy Association’s Hall of Fame.
About Battleship IOWA
Entering service more than 70 years ago, the USS IOWA deployed to the South Pacific in the uncertain early years of World War II. The iconic battleship served with distinction in that war and later, during the Korean War. In the 1990s, as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the IOWA concluded her active duty. Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship museum. Forged in war and guardian of the peace, the proud ship keeps watching as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history, having carried upon them three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors. Visitors are awed by the IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans. Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our hours are 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m with our last ticket sale. Please visit our website additional information on special events, group tours educational programs and Naval retirement flag service.