WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – John Dunbar returned to Westchester this week for an annual reunion with the 13 men who he served with on the USS Enterprise during World War II, according to a press release.
Dunbar lives in Chatham, N.Y., but grew up in Ardsley. He enlisted after graduating from Ardsley High School and served on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier for a year. This week, he convened with his fellow veterans at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook for the reunion, which was organized by the USS Enterprise (CV6) Association, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the ship’s unique history.
The USS Enterprise launched the first U.S. aircraft into battle during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and engaged in 20 of the 22 naval battles that took place in the Pacific Ocean during the war.
“We chose Westchester because it’s a beautiful place to visit and it’s close to so many attractions that the group wanted to see,” said John Dunbar’s son David Dunbar, a representative of the association and a Yonkers resident.
Saturday the 14 veterans will visit the Veterans Memorial Park in River Vale, N.J., to see the only major remaining piece from the Enterprise’s hull, the stern plate. Thursday, they visited the USS Intrepid museum in Manhattan.
For both trips, the veterans group sought help from Westchester County for transportation. After the county put the call out, two coach buses were sponsored by Greenberg Traurig LLP, an international law firm with offices in White Plains, and Liberty Lines Transit Inc., a contract operator of Westchester County’s Bee-Line bus system.
“We are very happy to assist Westchester County in its efforts to support and honor the heroes of the USS Enterprise,” said Joseph T. Murphy, director of Liberty Lines Transit.
A 10-part History Channel series, “Battle-360,” documents the ship and its fliers and sailors, as does Barrett Tillman in a book released this year called "Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II."
“This trip means a lot to these veterans and their families, so we try to keep costs as low as possible,” said David Dunbar. “We are grateful to County Executive (Rob) Astorino, Greenberg Traurig and Liberty Lines for coming through for us.”