Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Story by Dick Camp
Photographs courtesy of the creator

Marine Detachment, USS Arizona, 7 Dec. 1941 USS Arizona’s (BB- 39) four-man Marine coloration guard marched purposely towards the fantail beneath the tautly stretched white canvas awning. The leather-based soles of their extremely polished sneakers struck the teak deck with a measured cadence. Their noncommissioned officer (NCO) barked a command, and the element halted crisply on the flagstaff. The sector music took a number of exact steps, turned and raised the bugle to his lips.

The others busied themselves with unlashing the halyard and attaching its snaps to the flag’s grommets. The NCO checked to make sure they have been connected correctly; he was nicely conscious what would occur if the flag have been raised the wrong way up. It will be a career-ending occasion. He glanced at his watch and famous with satisfaction that they have been proper on time—0755.

All alongside “Battleship Row,” males ready to lift the Stars and Stripes. Nevertheless, aboard USS Nevada (BB- 36), the junior officer of the deck was in a sweat making an attempt to find out if the colour guard had the correct-sized flag. He despatched a messenger to name over to Arizona, which was moored solely 20 to 30 ft away (bow to stern) to search out out what she was utilizing. In contrast to Arizona’s single bugler, Nevada’s complete 23-piece band had mustered in formation on the fantail.

Marine Main Alan Shapley was up early, although he didn’t have any official duties. He had been relieved as detachment commander of USS Arizona the day gone by. Nevertheless, he was the player-coach— and main hitter—of the ship’s baseball staff and was scheduled to play that afternoon. After dressing, he went to the wardroom for breakfast. He helped himself to a big stack of pancakes topped with eggs, his favourite weekend breakfast.

Beneath decks, Corporal Earl C. Nightingale additionally was consuming a leisurely breakfast. Round him the mess deck was alive with lighthearted banter as sailors and Marines of the off-duty part moved by way of the chow line.

Excessive overhead, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, Imperial Japanese Navy, led a combined strike drive of fighters, high-level bombers and torpedo planes towards the unsuspecting Pacific Fleet anchorage. At 0749, he ordered his radio operator to sign: “TO [Charge]! TO [Charge]! TO [Charge]!”

Nevada’s bandmaster raised his baton and swept it down. The primary notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner” echoed throughout the fantail, combined with the unmistakable scream of a diving plane. The Marine coloration guard rapidly raised Previous Glory to the highest of the flagstaff. Out of the blue an unfamiliar aircraft roared low over Arizona, angling sharply upward over the formation. Incredu-

The Navy Fleet was hit onerous on the morning of seven Dec. The dry-docked USS Shaw (DD-373) took three bomb hits, along with her ahead journal exploding round 0930, sending flames and shrapnel all through the realm. Regardless of the dramatic injury, Shaw was again in full service by June 1942, preventing on to the tip of the battle.

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