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Wisconsin Navy vet witnessed history
Otto Wilkinson turns 90 Aug. 15
otto wilkinson uss missouri
Otto Wilkinson from his days aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63). He was a member of the ship's crew when it was commissioned. - photo by Contributed/Matthew Gowan

United States Navy Veteran Otto Wilkinson celebrates his 90th birthday Aug. 15.

Wilkinson is a plankowner of the USS Missouri (BB-63) and was on deck of the “Mighty Mo” on Sept. 2, 1945 when the Japanese signed their formal unconditional surrender, ending World War II. A plankowner is an individual who was a member of the ship when it was placed in commission. The USS Missouri was commissioned on June 11, 1944 and is now faces the USS Arizona on Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor, HI. The USS Missouri was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

A celebration will be held  1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the New Lisbon American Legion Hall, 110 Welch Prairie Road, New Lisbon.

The family contact is Gary Peters. Phone (608) 649-8726 or email