We need your help in planning two very important events for our crew that are scheduled to take place in 2021. First, here is some background info, then the survey itself:

As many of you know, the USS Duluth LPD6 Crewmembers Association has been coordinating reunions since 2011, with the first reunion being in 2013 in Duluth, Minnesota for obvious reasons and overwhelming vote of the crew. Every reunion since 2013 has been held in Duluth Minnesota in part, because of the wonderful and ongoing relationship with the City of Duluth and in part, due to some pretty substantial financial advantages & discounts we receive as a result of the relationship we enjoy with the City.

In 2021 the Crewmembers Association has been working hard for over a year, on the planning of hosting two major events. One is scheduled to take place in Duluth, Minnesota as guest of the United States Navy to provide a presence in the commissioning of a new Littoral Combat ship, USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul. This personal request by the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy was in response to the USS Duluth LPD6 Crewmembers Association letter writing campaign to the Secretary of the Navy to name the next LPD, LPD-31, currently being built in Pascagoula Mississippi, as USS Duluth LPD-31 and her strong feelings about the relationship our crew has with the City our ship was named for; our Anchor Monument, our Museum Exhibit, our ship’s Presentation Silver set, our ship’s scale model, donated to the City by Captain Grimes, etc..

There are a couple of factors that the Crewmembers Association did not anticipate, which may or may not be related. In 2020 paid memberships have been down slightly which may or may not be attributed to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This is important, in that the Crewmembers Association was traditionally able to help keep costs down for attendees by using monies collected throughout the year to help offset reunion costs and keep registration fees extremely low and also provide certain group activities. Also, the relationships that provided certain financial advantages and cost-reduced, cost-free opportunities in Duluth, will not be available in venues outside Duluth, thereby making a group experience significantly more challenging to plan, with regards to affordability.

While we have been specifically invited by the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy to participate in the commissioning ceremony, an invitation we consider to be quite an honor, the Navy is, for security reasons, controlling access to the event on an invitation only access basis. The event is expected to be attended by 10.000 to 15,000 total attendees. We know that the invitations will be transmitted electronically (only), but that is the only information we currently have. We believe that we will need to submit a list of names and contact info to the Navy, but are unsure at this point, of the exact logistics.

Due to these unforeseen events along with two major activities, it is unclear how we will be able to help offset two activities and logistical planning will be particularly challenging in both cases, for a variety of reasons – some stated above and some we haven’t even foreseen yet. Therefore, In order to begin the effort to gain some understanding of who may be planning to do what, it is necessary for us to ask our shipmates the following questions and we ask that you respond no later than September 30, 2020 in order for us to determine financially if we can proceed with all planned events. Your responses can be directed by e-mail, snail mail or simply by calling one of the board members. We cannot stress how vitally important this information is in planning 2021 events.

We realize that the commissioning ceremony is 9 months out, the reunion is 14 months out and circumstances could change with you and depending how the current situation with the country is, we may have to reschedule events. However, we simply ask you to please estimate at this point in time, your answers to the above questions, so that we can determine what the registration fees may be and possible attendance may be for both events. The DUSN was very impressed with our ship and crew from what she saw during her time in Duluth, as well as our active campaign to have a new LPD named USS Duluth. Let’s make a strong showing, representing USS Duluth LPD-6, honoring the DUSN’s invitation.


This survey is now closed. Many thanks to those who participated and provided feedback. The survey responses are being analyzed now and will be published soon.