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Thread: Pearl Harbor
12-06-04, 11:14 PM #1
Remember Pearl Harbor
November 30, 2004
We are approaching an important day in the recent history of the United States.
We are approaching an important day in the recent history of the United States. Recent, because all of our senior citizens were born when World War II began. On December 7, it will have been 63 years since Japan launched its attack on our country and plunged us into World War II. That event launched our nation on a new course to an unforeseen level of power and greatness.
It was a day of death, or sorrow and heroism. It was a day of temporary defeat for one nation and of temporary victory for another. The beginning of World War II was an event that would immediately change many American's lives, eventually before it was over, it would change the lives of every person on the face of the earty.
The attack on Pearl Harbor, as predicted by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto would "Awaken a sleeping tiger." It set the stage for future wars and accelerated the quest for knowledge in a host of scientific fields.
The sneak attack brought an immediate reaction of unprecedented unity from the American people. Families from every class sent their sons and daughters to war, women joined the industrial work force, and no one was untouched by the effort to bring all of U. S. resources to bear for the war effort. The U. S. war plans strategy had been "Europe first", but the Japanese attack caused a far greater effort to be directed early on to the Pacific than would otherwise have been expected and fueled the will of the U. S. to completely defeat Japan regardless of the cost.
Most everyone who was of grammar school age or older on that day can remember exactly what they were doing, where they were, and what their immediate reaction was. For those who were eyewitnesses to the events of that day, the memories are vivid. For others, the memories are of interest because they would soon become players in the many dramas that would follow over the course of not years, but decades.
The raid began that Sunday morning at 7:58 a.m. with the first wave of Japanese aircraft, consisting of 49 high-level bombers, 51 dive bombers and 51 fighters. By 8 a.m. two battleships had been dealt fatal blows and hundreds of American sailors had been killed. In harbor were 26 destroyers, five cruisers and eight battleships. Most of the officers and men of the battleship Arizona were aboard when the first bombs and torpedoes began to rip it apart. Of its crew of 1,400, 1,103 were killed. The Oklahoma was next in line and by a few minutes after 8, it rolled completely over, destroyed by three huge torpedoes in its hull.
The Tennessee and West Virginia were next in line. The West Virginia, outboard of the pair, took six or seven torpedoes, but it was saved from the Oklahoma's fate by an exceptionally alert and well trained crew. By the time the sailors discovered what was happening, it was almost too late, but hundreds of men were brought topside and saved. The California was the southernmost and least prepared for war. It was considered completely unprepared for an admiral's inspection. Its magazine was hit and it rapidly settled into the mud.
Within two hours, the navy lost 2,000 men killed and 710 wounded, while the army and marines lost 327 killed and 433 wounded. Also killed were 70 civilians, mostly airfield workers, as were a few Honolulu residents.
The total military active duty personnel of the U. S. Armed Forces during the Second World War reached 12,123,455. Of that number, 292,131 were killed and 671,278 were wounded. Over 78,000 still remain missing in action and unaccounted for yet today.
The memory of Pearl Harbor on that fateful December 7, 1941 must remain in the mind of succeeding generations as a symbol of the price we had to pay for a lack of alertness and preparedness. Pearl Harbor must ever be the symbol of the consequence of underestimating the threats to peace and world stability. It's a lesson that the men and women of this country do not want to see repeated. We must ensure that the nation remains strong enough at all times to preserve and defend its freedom. Peace through strength.
This information is presented here for the purpose of bringing back memories to those old enough to have been living at the beginning of the Second World War by The American Legion in conjunction with your local American Legion Post.
12-06-04, 11:15 PM #2
Sacrifices at Pearl Harbor recalled
By Joseph Barrios
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Donald Stratton remembers being on board the USS Arizona when something tore into the ship's side and sent flames blasting hundreds of feet into the air.
Now 82, Stratton was in the hospital for a year and medically discharged. That didn't keep him from re-enlisting.
Why go back after seeing such destruction?
"A little revenge, maybe," Stratton said. "At that time, there weren't too many people around that were my old buddies. After a while, the camaraderie . . . you miss it a little bit."
He, and many others, still miss the 1,177 sailors and Marines who died aboard the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. More than 200 people turned out Sunday to attend the 51st annual Pearl Harbor memorial service at the University of Arizona.
Sunday's ceremony, organized by the Fleet Reserve Association and the UA, was moved inside a Student Union ballroom because rain and chilly weather left the UA Mall a bit muddy.
Jerry Sweeney, national secretary of the Fleet Reserve Association from Washington, D.C., was keynote speaker for the event. He implored attendees to remember the people who sacrificed their lives during an attack that lasted less than two hours.
"Our only response can be: 'Your sacrifice is known around the world. Your deaths have not been in vain,' " he said.
Sweeney said the attack taught the nation a painful lesson about the cost of freedom - a price the nation has had to pay again in the last few years, he noted, referring to the terrorist attacks and military action in Iraq and the Middle East.
"We will continue to fight for freedom. Today, we have thousands of dedicated men and women in harm's way once again. We take pause and remember their dedication to service and country," Sweeney said. "Only through constant vigilance can we keep our freedom. We must heed the warnings of Dec. 7, 1941. We must heed the warnings of Sept 11, 2001. We must never forget the lessons of Pearl Harbor."
The ceremony wasn't completely solemn. Old friends shook hands, patted each other on the back and sometimes paused for pictures.
The Fort Huachuca band played a medley of patriotic songs including "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Anchors Aweigh." The one-time soldiers tapped their toes, tapped a program or stomped a heel.
UA President Peter Likins said he hopes the remnants of the USS Arizona displayed on the UA campus will help others remember "that sacred place" where the ship was sunk in the Pacific.
A bell from the USS Arizona, now mounted in the clock tower of the UA Student Union Memorial Center, was rung eight times to honor the eight servicemen from Arizona who were entombed in the sunken ship.
The clang echoed throughout the ballroom during a solemn dedication by Jose Bracamonte, with the Fleet Reserve Association. Many veterans bowed their heads and placed their garrison caps over their hearts or left shoulders as a sign of respect.
A rifle squad made up of seven members from the Bulk Fuel Company Alpha of the Marine Reserve Center staged a 21-gun salute while standing outside on a second-floor balcony.
Even today, Stratton isn't sure what hit the ship's starboard side. It could have been a 2,000-pound bomb or maybe a torpedo. Either way, it rocked the entire ship, he said, and engulfed the front half in flames.
Suspended in midair, he traversed a line strung between the USS Arizona and another ship in order to get to safety. He remembers looking down to see fire, water and wreckage.
"The explosion just engulfed us in a ball of fire, and we were all burnt real bad. I burned over 60 or 70 percent of my body," Stratton said.
After his hospital stay and re-enlistment in the Navy, he "caught a destroyer and saw seven invasions." He was discharged in December 1945 and now lives in California.
Laura Regan's father served in the Air Force, but long after World War II ended. She remembers attending a USS Arizona service at least 15 years ago and wanted to attend last year's service but couldn't make it. On Sunday, she was thinking not only about her father but about the troops who are now overseas.
"It's important to commemorate days such as these and to remember those who have served," Regan said.
12-06-04, 11:16 PM #3
Pearl Harbor survivors meet
By RORY SCHULER
Lebanon Daily News
Dec. 6, 2004
Both men, 20 years old, awoke Dec. 7, 1941, to blue skies and warm, Hawaiian air.
By the end of the day, a defining one in American and world history, a crippling surprise attack would forever link their previously unrelated lives.
Sixty-three years have passed since the Japanese attacked Hawaii's Pearl Harbor. Both Ned Shanaman and Ramon Carazo have raised families and worked tirelessly in their chosen professions. And both have been haunted by memories from that day every morning since.
But until yesterday, they had never met.
With a handshake at the Lebanon VA Medical Center Chapel, after an emotional remembrance ceremony yesterday, two of our nation's few living Pearl Harbor attack survivors met for the very first time.
"Where were you at?" Shanaman asked as he bent down to hear Carazo's voice.
The two men fell deep into a brief but poignant conversation, inaudible to all who stood near them. Their smiles explained it all. They shared the pain of that infamous day in ways no one else in the room will ever understand.
As the morning sun rose over the horizon more than six decades ago, Army Air Corps Pvt. Carazo of Palmerton, Carbon County, went to work in a hangar on the island of Oahu, a quarter-mile from the rippling waters of Pearl Harbor, following his routine like any other day.
Richland's Shanaman awoke in the bunk quarters of the USS Medusa, tossed his blankets aside and rose hungry for powdered eggs. Like his fellow sailors, he looked forward to breakfast, the sunlight and another day spent stationed in paradise. His ship had returned from a trip out to sea only two days earlier. He was getting ready for a trip home for Christmas.
Without warning, at 7:55 a.m., the surprise attack came. It was the strike that plunged America into World War II.
The Japanese fighter planes, known as Zeros, buzzed overhead, followed by explosions, fire, bursts of shrapnel and a shower of twisted metal.
Carazo lost his left arm below the shoulder and took debilitating blows to his left leg and right arm. He almost lost three limbs that day.
Shanaman slipped uninjured through the attack on the Medusa. He labored for hours the next day, repairing his damaged ship.
But both men survived, unlike the 2,008 sailors, 218 soldiers, 109 Marines and 68 civilians who died at Pearl Harbor that morning. Both men, each now 83 years old, wound up thousands of miles away from the Hawaiian islands, in Lebanon County.
During yesterday's ceremony, Delmas Wood Jr. offered an impersonation of World War II President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He entered the chapel in an old-fashioned wheelchair, a cigarette holder clamped between his teeth.
As he has in years past, Wood stood and recited a convincing rendition of FDR's famous Declaration of War speech, citing Dec. 7, 1941, as "a date which will live in infamy." The address, first delivered the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, was a familiar moment for Americans in the room who were born before that date.
While Shanaman and Carazo witnessed the beginning of World War II, they listened intently to a speech by a man who helped ensure the end the world's biggest conflict.
"We had a job to do, and we did it to the best of our ability," explained Staff Sgt. James H. Bridges, a member of the 509th Composite Group and armorer for a B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the war's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. "I'm not ashamed of what we did."
During the war, Bridges spent months hidden in the Utah desert, forbidden from sharing his work with the outside world as he and his crew readied a weapon that would level an entire city, leading to the eventual defeat of Japan and the end of the World War II.
"Now, I live at the beach," he said to conclude his speech. "I love to fish. That's all I have to say."
Bridges yielded the floor to James Drucker, a Catholic priest and a chaplain at the VA. He led the audience of more than 100 in the reading of Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd."
Drucker, who spent 17 years in the military, six of those with the infantry during the Vietnam War. He also served in Desert Storm. Now, he has embarked on an age-defying mission.
"I'm trying to go back on active duty," he told the crowd, triggering gasps of admiration. "There are 1,500 chaplains in the armed forces but only 100 Catholic priests."
Drucker, 62, passed the required physical and has to lose a few pounds, but if the Army will take him once again, he said he would gladly ship off to America's newest war, in Iraq. The many veterans in the room, some in wheelchairs forming their own rows at the front and back, offered a heartfelt salute.
12-06-04, 11:34 PM #4
May God grant them eternal Peace in God name we pray...
Semper Fidelis/Semper Fi
12-07-04, 06:30 AM #5
December 7, 2004
by Tom Marzullo
This day has a special place in American history, as it is the day when some three thousand Americans were killed during the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Your grandparents still remember that day with anger, though it has become politically incorrect in the light of the liberal hand-wringing over the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that saved some indeterminate, but extremely large number of those same grandparents from death or injury in the invasion that the bombings made unnecessary.
We have seen still more of this hand-wringing since we lost another three thousand of our brothers and sisters in another sneak attack about three years ago. The American media’s sniffling and dissembling has been very much directed against everything American’s do while giving everybody else a walk.
Compare the shrill 24/7 outrage over the embarrassments caused at Abu Graib with the comparative silence over the French shooting up a crowd of unarmed demonstrators or the Baathist’s treatment of families they thought disloyal. Just in case your tender sensibilities didn’t allow you to understand that routine, it consisted of first chaining/tying the father to a wall and pinning his eyelids open (all the better to see with) and then watch them rape, disembowel and slit the throats of his family… children first then the mother… before it was his turn. Oh yes, this tradition was still recently being celebrated in Fallujah and elsewhere where the New York Time’s “plucky and tenacious insurgents” held sway.
But in this current unpleasantness we haven’t seen anything yet… from either the liberal media or their plucky little tenacious pals.
So what additional information brings me to yet another such pronouncement?
That would be the ‘how-to’ pamphlet currently being distributed on Jihadi websites that detail how to easily and cheaply manufacture, configure and use homemade chemical, toxic and biological weapons to all their true believers worldwide. Schools, shopping centers and other public places are touted as suitable targets for these weapons. Sorry about that soccer moms…
This is something I outlined in broad stokes in a previous MND series on terrorist methods and it is starting to come home to roost with a vengeance.
For the ‘die-hard’ liberals (an apt term in the lexicon of black humor) who think that this breed of Islamists will ‘let them alone’ if only we perform whatever forms of appeasement are demanded, a brief look at the fresh experience of the Thai might be instructive.
To show the Islamists in the southern portions of Thailand that they should “give peace a chance” they were showered with ten million little white origami doves. This ever-so-organic display of Asian kumbaya was met in prototypical Islamist fashion… by a fresh round of bombings and political murders.
Oh well, that’s the way of the world. Wish in one hand and take a dump in the other… Which one gets full first?
But beyond this reality check there is something else brewing.
That is the thing that is a little hard to quantify, but still a clear indicator of something badly amiss. It’s getting quiet…
In the woods a combat hardened soldier recognizes when the birds quit yapping in the trees… something is up and it usually isn’t anything good. That’s what is going on now with the Islamists level of chatter…
To my eye this means that we are in for another round. Perhaps I’m wrong, it has happened before, but…
© 2004, Tom Marzullo All rights reserved.
Tom Marzullo is a columnist/physicist/educator who is a former US Army Special Forces combat soldier and US Navy Submariner with special operations experience in both services. He was the leader of the Internet-based effort by Special Forces veterans that debunked the false CNN/TIME magazine nerve gas story, 'Tailwind' and has provided testimony before the US Senate on military and intelligence matters. He resides in Colorado.
12-07-04, 10:26 AM #6
Survivors Mark Pearl Harbor Anniversary
December 7, 2004
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Paul Goodyear was standing on a signal bridge on the starboard side of the USS Oklahoma in 1941 when bombs started falling from the sky and torpedoes zeroed in.
Explosions, screams, chaos and gunfire shattered the calm morning of that Dec. 7, and within 12 minutes, the massive battleship rolled over and capsized, trapping hundreds of men belowdecks.
Sixty-three years later, Goodyear can still hear their cries and tapping for help.
Goodyear, 86, and a dwindling number of survivors returned to the site of their most haunting memories to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma and nearly 2,000 others who died in the Japanese sneak attack that plunged the United States into World War II.
"There's a great bond between us," Goodyear said.
Goodyear was a 23-year-old petty officer in 1941 whose life was saved when, after he jumped into the burning waters of the harbor, someone threw him a line from the USS Maryland and he was able to pull himself up.
The USS Oklahoma suffered the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the USS Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crewmen remain entombed after the ship sank.
"I could see the torpedo coming and I was yelling at the gunner to shoot the bastard down," said Goodyear, of Casa Grande, Ariz.
The anniversary will be marked with simultaneous ceremonies Tuesday aboard the USS Arizona Memorial above that sunken battleship, and on shore. Each ceremony was to feature a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. - the minute the attack started.
Goodyear, head of the USS Oklahoma Survivors Association, joined four other survivors and about two dozen friends and family Monday evening for the unveiling of a permanent exhibit on the Oklahoma.
Although they were pleased with the small exhibit in the Arizona museum, survivors of the USS Oklahoma are pressing for a permanent memorial.
"I've written every congressman," said George Brown, 83. "I'll doubt I'll ever see it."
Goodyear said he also wants the USS Arizona Memorial's named changed to the Pearl Harbor Memorial or the Memorial of the Pacific.
"The kids on the Arizona died one of the most merciful deaths known to man, whereas the kids on the Oklahoma suffered one of the most horrible, traumatic demises known to man and yet no one knows the Oklahoma was here," he said. "They suffered casualties and they should be remembered, but there were other ships there too and that's our beef."
The National Park Service, which operates the Arizona Memorial, said it is considering changing the name and broadening the museum's scope.
When it sank, the Oklahoma was anchored off Ford Island on Battleship Row in the middle of the harbor, next to the USS Maryland. The Oklahoma took the brunt of the torpedoes, leaving the Maryland relatively intact.
The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific while being towed to California.
Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 people were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.
12-07-04, 05:31 PM #7
Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Thank You to those who came before, and set the path that my family has followed since.
12-09-04, 06:53 AM #8
Medal of Honor Recipients on Dec. 7, 1941
Editor’s Note: On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor with a massive carrier air raid that crippled the U.S. Pacific Fleet, destroyed three-fourths of the 231 military aircraft at hand, killed 2,403 people and injured another 1,104 others. But during the horror and bloodshed that day there were many instances of American bravery and valor above and beyond the call of duty.
Of the 16 U.S. military personnel who received the Medal of Honor for actions on Dec. 7, 1941, 11 were awarded it posthumously. Two of the recipients were not at Pearl Harbor itself: One was serving at Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, and the other at Midway Island, which were also attacked. Their ranks ranged from seaman 1st class to rear admiral.
Note: An asterisk (*) before the recipient’s name indicates that he received the Medal of Honor posthumously.
*Bennion, Mervyn Sharp
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy.
Born: 5 May 1887, Vernon, Utah. Appointed from: Utah.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As Commanding Officer of the USS West Virginia, after being mortally wounded, Capt. Bennion evidenced apparent concern only in fighting and saving his ship, and strongly protested against being carried from the bridge.
*Cannon, George Ham
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Born: S November 1915, Webster Groves, Mo. Entered service at: Michigan.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own condition during the bombardment of Sand Island, Midway Islands, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. 1st Lt. Cannon, Battery Commander of Battery H, 6th Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, U.S. Marine Corps, was at his command post when he was mortally wounded by enemy shellfire.
He refused to be evacuated from his post until after his men who had been wounded by the same shell were evacuated, and directed the reorganization of his command post until forcibly removed. As a result of his utter disregard of his own condition he died from loss of blood.
Finn, John William
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy.
Place and date: Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: California. Born: 23 July 1909, Los Angeles, Calif.
Citation: For extraordinary heroism distinguished service, and devotion above and beyond the call of duty. During the first attack by Japanese airplanes on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lt. Finn promptly secured and manned a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machine gun strafing fire.
Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. It was only by specific orders that he was persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention.
Following first aid treatment, although obviously suffering much pain and moving with great difficulty, he returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes. His extraordinary heroism and conduct in this action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
*Flaherty, Francis C.
Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve.
Born: 15 March 1919, Charlotte, Mich. Accredited to: Michigan.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty and extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When it was seen that the USS Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ens. Flaherty remained in a turret, holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.
Fuqua, Samuel Glenn
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy, USS Arizona.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: Laddonia, Mo. Born: 15 October 1899, Laddonia Mo.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in action, outstanding heroism, and utter disregard of his own safety above and beyond the call of duty during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Upon the commencement of the attack, Lt. Comdr. Fuqua rushed to the quarterdeck of the USS Arizona to which he was attached where he was stunned and knocked down by the explosion of a large bomb which hit the guarterdeck, penetrated several decks, and started a severe fire.
Upon regaining consciousness, he began to direct the fighting of the fire and the rescue of wounded and injured personnel. Almost immediately there was a tremendous explosion forward, which made the ship appear to rise out of the water, shudder, and settle down by the bow rapidly. The whole forward part of the ship was enveloped in flames which were spreading rapidly, and wounded and burned men were pouring out of the ship to the quarterdeck.
Despite these conditions, his harrowing experience, and severe enemy bombing and strafing, at the time, Lt. Cmdr. Fuqua continued to direct the fighting of fires in order to check them while the wounded and burned could be taken from the ship and supervised the rescue of these men in such an amazingly calm and cool manner and with such excellent judgment that it inspired everyone who saw him and undoubtedly resulted in the saving of many lives.
After realizing the ship could not be saved and that he was the senior surviving officer aboard, he directed it to be abandoned, but continued to remain on the quarterdeck and directed abandoning ship and rescue of personnel until satisfied that all personnel that could be had been saved, after which he left his ship with the boatload. The conduct of Lt. Cmdr. Fuqua was not only in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service but characterizes him as an outstanding leader of men.
*Hill, Edwin Joseph
Rank and organization: Chief Boatswain, U.S. Navy.
Born: 4 October 1894, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage, and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. During the height of the strafing and bombing, Chief Boatswain Hill led his men of the linehandling details of the USS Nevada to the quays, cast off the lines and swam back to his ship.
Later, while on the forecastle, attempting to let go the anchors, he was blown overboard and killed by the explosion of several bombs.
*Jones, Herbert Charpoit
Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve.
Born: 1 December 1918, Los Angeles, Calif. Accredited to: California.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage, and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Ens. Jones organized and led a party, which was supplying ammunition to the antiaircraft battery of the USS California after the mechanical hoists were put out of action when he was fatally wounded by a bomb explosion. When two men attempted to take him from the area which was on fire, he refused to let them do so, saying in words to the effect, “Leave me alone! I am done for. Get out of here before the magazines go off.”
*Kidd, Isaac Campbell
Rank and organization: Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy.
Born: 26 March 1884, Cleveland, Ohio. Appointed from: Ohio.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Rear Adm. Kidd immediately went to the bridge and, as Commander Battleship Division One, courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until the USS Arizona, his Flagship, blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.
Pharris, Jackson Charles
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, USS California.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: California. Born: 26 June 1912, Columbus, Ga.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the USS California during the surprise enemy Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. In charge of the ordnance repair party on the third deck when the first Japanese torpedo struck almost directly under his station, Lt. (then Gunner) Pharris was stunned and severely injured by the concussion which hurled him to the overhead and back to the deck.
Quickly recovering, he acted on his own initiative to set up a hand-supply ammunition train for the antiaircraft guns. With water and oil rushing in where the port bulkhead had been torn up from the deck, with many of the remaining crewmembers overcome by oil fumes, and the ship without power and listing heavily to port as a result of a second torpedo hit, Lt. Pharris ordered the shipfitters to counterflood.
Twice rendered unconscious by the nauseous fumes and handicapped by his painful injuries, he persisted in his desperate efforts to speed up the supply of ammunition and at the same time repeatedly risked his life to enter flooding compartments and drag to safety unconscious shipmates who were gradually being submerged in oil.
By his inspiring leadership, his valiant efforts and his extreme loyalty to his ship and her crew, he saved many of his shipmates from death and was largely responsible for keeping the California in action during the attack. His heroic conduct throughout this first eventful engagement of World War II reflects the highest credit upon Lt. Pharris and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
*Reeves, Thomas James
Rank and organization: Radio Electrician (Warrant Officer) U.S. Navy.
Born: 9 December 1895, Thomaston, Conn. Accredited to: Connecticut.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. After the mechanized ammunition hoists were put out of action in the USS California, Reeves, on his own initiative, in a burning passageway, assisted in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he was overcome by smoke and fire, which resulted in his death.
12-09-04, 06:53 AM #9
Ross, Donald Kirby
Rank and organization: Machinist, U.S. Navy, USS Nevada.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Born: 8 December 1910, Beverly, Kans.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own life during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When his station in the forward dynamo room of the USS Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Machinist Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious.
Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returned and secured the forward dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room where he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness he returned to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it.
*Scott, Robert R.
Rank and organization: Machinist's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy.
Born: 13 July 1915, Massillon, Ohio. Accredited to Ohio.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. The compartment, in the USS California, in which the air compressor, to which Scott was assigned as his battle station, was flooded as the result of a torpedo hit. The remainder of the personnel evacuated that compartment but Scott refused to leave, saying words to the effect “This is my station and I will stay and give them air as long as the guns are going.”
Rank and organization: Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy.
Born: 3 June 1893, Prolog, Austria. Accredited to: New Jersey.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, and extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Although realizing that the ship was capsizing, as a result of enemy bombing and torpedoing, Tomich remained at his post in the engineering plant of the USS Utah, until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing lost his own life.
*Van Valkenburgh, Franklin
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy.
Born: 5 April 1888, Minneapolis, Minn. Appointed from: Wisconsin.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor T.H., by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. As commanding officer of the USS Arizona, Capt. Van Valkenburgh gallantly fought his ship until the USS Arizona blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.
*Ward, James Richard
Rank and organization: Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy.
Born: 10 September 1921, Springfield, Ohio. Entered service at: Springfield, Ohio.
Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When it was seen that the USS Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy.
Born: 6 March 1894, Washington, D.C. Appointed from: Wisconsin. Other Navy award: Navy Cross.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in action, outstanding heroism and utter disregard of his own safety, above and beyond the call of duty, as commanding officer of the USS Vestal, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by enemy Japanese forces on 7 December 1941.
Cmdr. Young proceeded to the bridge and later took personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft gun. When blown overboard by the blast of the forward magazine explosion of the USS Arizona, to which the USS Vestal was moored, he swam back to his ship. The entire forward part of the USS Arizona was a blazing inferno with oil afire on the water between the two ships; as a result of several bomb hits, the USS Vestal was afire in several places, was settling and taking on a list.
Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the time, and his shocking experience of having been blown overboard, Cmdr. Young, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage distant from the USS Arizona, and subsequently beached the USS Vestal upon determining that such action was required to save his ship.
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