Featuring interviews with the sailors who survived, the authors present a detailed history of the USS Arizona before, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor, bringing to life the courage and bravery of ordinary men.
This book is about the men that were serving on board the USS Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Who were these men and what did they experience? This is their story.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, shortly before 8 a.m. the men on board the USS Arizona were preparing for Sunday morning services, planning shore leave, writing letters home and visiting with shipmates. Little did they know that the day's events would forever change their lives. As the Japanese attacked, this quiet morning turned into a nightmare many would carry with them the rest of their lives. Many more would not survive the devastating attack. "General Quarters" was sounded and the men scrambled for their battle stations. Within minutes, the men were firing back at the swarm of Japanese planes. Facing, fires, black smoke, explosions and the continual strafing from the Japanese planes, these men remained at their respective battle stations. Many died instantly when a bomb went through the after deck and landed in the black powder room igniting a huge explosion and an immense fire ball that traveled throughout the ship. Faced with badly burned men wandering about on deck, those men that survived the initial explosion, heroically helped evacuate the wounded all the while dodging the bullets from the attacking planes and the fires roaring about them. By this time, the fuel oil from the ship's tanks had escaped and covered the water around the ship. This oil promptly caught fire making "abandon ship" into a treacherous deed. Many of those that jumped were caught up in the fires and fuel oil. This made it impossible to swim to safety. This book is a memorial to the men that were serving on the USS Arizona that fateful morning. Who were these men and what did they experience. This is their story.
THE FIRST MEMOIR BY A USS ARIZONA SURVIVOR: Donald Stratton, one of the battleship's five living heroes, delivers a "powerful" and "intimate"* eyewitness account of Pearl Harbor and his unforgettable return to the fight At 8:10 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton was consumed by an inferno. A million pounds of explosives had detonated beneath his battle station aboard the USS Arizona, barely fifteen minutes into Japan’s surprise attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Near death and burned across two thirds of his body, Don, a nineteen-year-old Nebraskan who had been steeled by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, summoned the will to haul himself hand over hand across a rope tethered to a neighboring vessel. Forty-five feet below, the harbor’s flaming, oil-slick water boiled with enemy bullets; all around him the world tore itself apart. In this extraordinary, never-before-told eyewitness account of the Pearl Harbor attack—the only memoir ever written by a survivor of the USS Arizona—ninety-four-year-old veteran Donald Stratton finally shares his unforgettable personal tale of bravery and survival on December 7, 1941, his harrowing recovery, and his inspiring determination to return to the fight. Don and four other sailors made it safely across the same line that morning, a small miracle on a day that claimed the lives of 1,177 of their Arizona shipmates—approximately half the American fatalaties at Pearl Harbor. Sent to military hospitals for a year, Don refused doctors’ advice to amputate his limbs and battled to relearn how to walk. The U.S. Navy gave him a medical discharge, believing he would never again be fit for service, but Don had unfinished business. In June 1944, he sailed back into the teeth of the Pacific War on a destroyer, destined for combat in the crucial battles of Leyte Gulf, Luzon, and Okinawa, thus earning the distinction of having been present for the opening shots and the final major battle of America’s Second World War. As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of six living survivors of the Arizona, offers an unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history. All the Gallant Men is a book for the ages, one of the most remarkable—and remarkably inspiring—memoirs of any kind to appear in recent years. *Library Journal
Laying where she sank, in the silt of Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona has impacted millions of lives since the milli-second BOOM! that split her hull and snuffed out the lives of 1177 men aboard her. This book pays tribute to the ship and her crews, telling of the fascinating life she led before her demise with rarely-before-seen pictures and poignant stories of her symbolism throughout the years.
On December 7, 1941, as the great battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah lie paralyzed and burning in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a crack team of U.S. Navy salvage divers headed by Edward C. Raymer are hurriedly flown to Oahu from the mainland. The divers have been given a Herculean task: rescue the sailors and Marines trapped below, and resurrect the pride of the Pacific fleet. Now for the first time, the chief diver of the Pearl Harbor salvage operations, Cmdr. Edward C. Raymer, USN (Ret.), tells the whole story of the desperate attempts to save crewmembers caught inside their sinking ships. Descent into Darkness is the only book available that describes the raising and salvage operations of sunken battleships following the December 7th attack. Once Raymer and his crew of divers entered the interiors of the sunken shipwrecks—attempting untested and potentially deadly diving techniques—they experienced a world of total blackness, unable to see even the faceplates of their helmets. By memorizing the ships’ blueprints and using their sense of touch, the divers groped their way hundreds of feet inside the sunken vessels to make repairs and salvage vital war material. The divers learned how to cope with such unseen dangers as falling objects, sharks, the eerie presence of floating human bodies, and the constant threat of Japanese attacks from above. Though many of these divers were killed or seriously injured during the wartime salvage operations, on the whole they had great success performing what seemed to be impossible jobs. Among their credits, Raymer’s crew raised the sunken battleships USS West Virginia, USS Nevada, USS California, After Pearl Harbor they moved on to other crucial salvage work off Guadalcanal and the sites of other great sea battles.
Stephen Bower Young was a seaman first class assigned to gunnery duty in turret no. 4 on the Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Struck by torpedoes, the battleship started to sink, and Young and others became trapped when it overturned. Here, he recounts their terrifying experience with stunning clarity, recalling their frantic search for an escape route and horror at finding the exits blocked. He describes the water's inexorable rise, inch by awful inch; the sickening taste of fuel oil; the foul smell of the air; the nervous wisecracks echoing through the cold darkness; and finally the silence, as the possibility of rescue becomes ever more remote. Undeniably one of the most spellbinding events to unfold during the air raid, this true-life story of Young's escape rivals that of any fiction thriller.
The attack on Pearl Harbor is a topic of perennial interest to the American public, and a long line of popular books and movies have focused on the attack or events leading up to it. This work takes an entirely new perspective. Aimed at the general reader with an interest in World War II and the U.S. Navy, the book looks at the massive salvage effort that followed the attack, beginning with the damage control efforts aboard the sinking and damaged ships in the harbour on 7 December 1941 and ending in March 1944 when salvage efforts on the USS Utah were finally abandoned. The author tells the story in a narrative style, moving from activity to activity as the days and months wore on, in what proved to be an incredibly difficult and complex endeavour. But rather than writing a dry operational report, Dan Madsen describes the Navy's dramatic race to clear the harbour and repair as many ships as possible so they could return to the fleet ready for war. Numerous photographs, many never before published in books for the general public, give readers a real appreciation for the momentous task involved, from the raising of the USS Oglala in 1942 and the USS Oklahoma in 1943 to the eventual dismantling of the above-water portions of the USS Arizona. Madsen explains how a salvage organization was first set up, how priorities were scheduled, what specific plans were made and how they worked or, in many cases, did not work. His book is based almost entirely on primary sources, including the records of the fleet salvage unit and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
The tragic sight of the Arizona burning after the attack on Pearl Harbor is etched in our national memory. She sustained more losses that day than any other ship in the U.S. Navys history?1,177 men. Now available in paperback, Battleship Arizona recounts the attack through the riveting stories of her survivors as part of describing in detail the battleships twenty-five-year career.
Discusses the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, with an emphasis on the fate of the USS Arizona.
On a quiet Sunday morning in 1941, a ship designed to keep the peace was suddenly attacked. This book tells the remarkable story of a battleship, its brave crew, and how their lives were intertwined. Jeff Phister and his coauthors have written the comprehensive history of the USS Oklahoma from its christening in 1914 to its final loss in 1947. Phister tells how the Oklahoma served in World War I, participated in the Great Cruise of 1925, and evacuated refugees from Spain in 1936. But the most memorable event of the ship’s history occurred on December 7, 1941. Phister weaves the personal narratives of surviving crewmen with the necessary technical information to recreate the attack and demonstrate the full scope of its devastation. Captured Japanese photographs and dozens of historic U.S. Navy photographs deepen our understanding of this monumental event. Raised after the attack, the Oklahoma sank again while being towed stateside and now rests on the ocean floor, 540 miles northeast of Oahu. Battleship Oklahoma: BB-37 tells the complete story of a proud ship and her fall through the eyes of those who survived her loss.
In the early hours of December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched their first attack on Pearl Harbor. Their main targets were the aircraft carriers and the destroyers in port. The USS Utah was moored in an area reserved for the aircraft carriers. Utah was covered in 6 by 12 inch timbers and metal sheds to protect it from target practice. The location of the Utah coupled with the timbers on deck, made it appear as an aircraft carrier. The Japanese pilots attacked the Utah with a vengance. Utah was the first ship to be hit and sunk. The USS Utah remains sunk in Pearl Harbor today. Until very recently, access to the memorial site has been allowed only with special permission. Most visitors to Pearl are not aware of the Utah Memorial or even that she remains in the harbor with 50 men still on duty. This book is a memorial to all the men that were serving on the Utah on that fateful morning. Who were these brave men? What did they experience during those last minutes? This is their story.
USS Arizona was a Pennsylvania-class battleship built for and by the United States Navy in the mid-1910s. Named in honor of the 48th state's recent admission into the union, the ship was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of "super-dreadnought" battleships. Although commissioned in 1916, the ship remained stateside during World War I. Shortly after the end of the war, Arizona was one of a number of American ships that briefly escorted President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference. The ship was sent to Turkey in 1919 at the beginning of the Greco-Turkish War to represent American interests for several months. Several years later, she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and remained there for the rest of her career.
Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
“A valuable reexamination” (Booklist, starred review) of the event that changed twentieth-century America—Pearl Harbor—based on years of research and new information uncovered by a New York Times bestselling author. The America we live in today was born, not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and midget submarines suddenly and savagely attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men—and forced America’s entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness follows the sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, emperor, and president as they engineer, fight, and react to this stunningly dramatic moment in world history. Beginning in 1914, bestselling author Craig Nelson maps the road to war, when Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, attended the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Writing with vivid intimacy, Nelson traces Japan’s leaders as they lurch into ultranationalist fascism, which culminates in their scheme to terrify America with one of the boldest attacks ever waged. Within seconds, the country would never be the same. Backed by a research team’s five years of work, as well as Nelson’s thorough re-examination of the original evidence assembled by federal investigators, this page-turning and definitive work “weaves archival research, interviews, and personal experiences from both sides into a blow-by-blow narrative of destruction liberally sprinkled with individual heroism, bizarre escapes, and equally bizarre tragedies” (Kirkus Reviews). Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy, and heroism of the attack in stunning detail, and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy’s unforeseen and resonant consequences that linger even today.