Saturday, December 5, 2009

~ God Bless Our Troops, In Memoriam ... WWII ~

Looking just above the tallest tree in center of picture you can see a Japanese plane approaching Hawaii, the day that we were attacked.

This is in memoriam for all those brave men that fought for our freedoms ... may their souls rest in peace. We are so grateful for all they have done & given to us. AND, for the men who continue to valiantly fight for our freedoms ..........

Land of the free ... let's keep her that way.

Reports by Survivors of Pearl Harbor Attack


(These are copied in entirety so you will not miss any important info they recounted)

USS West Virginia

**Lieutenant Commander T. T. Beattie wrote as follows:

About five minutes to eight I was in the wardroom just finishing breakfast, when word came over the loud speaker from the officer-of-the-deck, "away fire and rescue party." This was followed immediately by a second announcement over the loud speaker, "Japanese are attacking, all hands General Quarters," and the general alarm was rung.

I heard several dull explosions coming from other battleships. Immediately I left the wardroom and ran up the starboard passageway to the bridge. The Captain was just ahead of me and proceeding in the same direction.

At this time the ship listed at least five or six degrees and was steadily listing more to port. The Captain and I went to the conning tower, our battle stations, and at this time dive bombing attacks started to take place and numerous explosions were felt throughout the ship. Upon testing our communications with central station and to the guns we found they were disrupted. I suggested to the Captain as long as no communications were in the battle conning tower that we leave there and attempt to establish messenger communication and try to save the ship. We went out on the starboard side of the bridge discussing what to do. During all this time extremely heavy bombing and strafing attacks occurred. The ship was constantly shaken by bomb hits.

The Captain doubled up with a groan and stated that he had been wounded. I saw that be had been hit in the stomach probably by a large piece of shrapnel and was very seriously wounded. He then sank to the deck and I loosened his collar. I then sent a messenger for a pharmacists mate to assist the Captain.

Just then the USS Arizona's forward magazines blew up with a tremendous explosion and large sheets of flame shot skyward, and I began to wonder about our own magazines and whether they were being flooded. I posted a man with the Captain and went down to the forecastle where a number of the crew and officers had gathered. I got hold of a chief turret captain to check immediately on the magazines and to flood them if they were not flooded at this time. Large sheets of flame and several fires started aft. Burning fuel oil from the USS Arizona floated down on the stern of the ship. Just then the gunnery officer, Lieutenant Commander Berthold, came aboard and I asked him to try to flood the forward magazines. Shortly thereafter I was informed that the after magazines were completely flooded but that they were unable to flood the forward magazines as the water was now almost to the main deck.

At about this time a large oil fire swept from the USS Arizona down the port side of the USS West Virginia. We had no water on board as the fire mains and machinery were out of commission and we were unable to do any fire fighting at all. I got into a motor launch to go to the stern of the ship to investigate the fire. The smoke was so heavy that I could not see aft of the bridge. As I got into the boat a sheet of flame swept on top of us and we barely managed to get free of the fire. I then had the boat take me aft. The burning oil on the water swept by the ship and I managed to return to the quarterdeck. I realized then that the ship was lost.

The attack lasted approximately thirty minutes. We were able to fire all our ready ammunition on the anti-aircraft batteries, but were unable to replenish it as the ship was flooded. I then told the men on the quarterdeck, with the exception of a small working party, to leave the ship. I believe at this time that all the wounded had been taken off the ship and it was extremely dangerous for anyone to remain aboard; that nothing could be done to save the ship and shells from the secondary batteries were constantly exploding due to the intensive heat of the fire midships.

The conduct of the crew and officers was outstanding. There was no confusion and every man and officer did his duty as well as he was able under the conditions.

**The story of D. Weissman, Seaman, First Class is as follows:

I was in the lower handling room of Turret IV. After the first hit, I went to the shell deck. The lights went out and the ship started to turn over. I went to the lower handling room and followed a man with a flash light. I entered the trunk just outside of handling room on the starboard side. The lower handling room flooded completely. Water entered the trunk. I dove and swam to the bottom of the trunk and left the ship through the hatch at the main deck and swam to the surface.

Eleven men in the lower handling room of turret IV escaped through the lucky bag. When the rescue party cut a hole in the lucky bag, the water rose rapidly but all men were removed before the water flooded the lucky bag completely.

Five men were in the five inch twenty-five caliber handling room preparatory to sending up anti-aircraft ammunition. They escaped to the five inch handling room and reduced flooding through ventilation ducts by stuffing rags in the lines. They were eventually saved by the rescue party by way of the shaft alley.

Eight men with water up to their necks were rescued from the steering compartment after these men, who had set condition "Z," were enabled to enter the steering room through the hole made for them. Three holes were made in all; pumps were in use constantly to keep the level of the water and oil below the danger point.


  1. Wow it is really amazing what some have endured for us to have freedom. I wish many more people (especially those in government positions) would remember that. I am having a giveaway over at my blog so be sure and stop by and enter. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thank you Marydon for feeling the same way I do about these things, and for posting this... Jack had a dear friend (many years older than Jack) who he used to fly with by the name of Walt Staff, who survived the Pearl Harbor attack... he was aboard the USS Oklahoma and trapped in it under water for many days, he and the other few that survived tapped on the ship until they were eventually rescued...I too knew Walt, but but not as well as Jack did...what an inspiration... I have so much love and respect for him, and ALL of our Armed Forces... Walt passed away several years back...I too hope they all rest in peace... love to you... Julie Marie

  3. Praying for our troops!

    PS: You have an award on arise 2 write.

  4. My great uncle was killed in WWII. He was a fighter pilot and was shot down in Burma, India. They found the wreckage, he was alive. When they brought back help, his entire plane was gone and so was he. All that was left was the indentation and marks from his plane going down. My great grandmother had a church erected on that very spot to commemorate him. One of my hopes is to one day visit the church since no one from my family has ever been there. I only hope that God has a special place in heaven for those who have given their lives for their country.

  5. My father was at Pearl Harbor, in the army so he wasn't on the ships; but there was a lot of ground fighting in Hawaii during WWII. He survived and so ... here I am. He didn't talk much about the war and unfortunately we kids (there are six of us) were very much not interested while growing up and he's gone now so we'll never know much about his experiences in the war. I do know he was very slightly wounded by shrapnel but that appears to be his only wound.

    At one point we wanted to send him back to Pearl Harbor to visit (on the 50th anniversary of the attack) but he was clearly not interested in revisiting the past.

  6. My dad fought in WWII! He joined the U.S. Army Air Corp in the year of 1944 and served in the Southwestern Pacific as a bombardier on B-24 Liberators with the Jolly Rogers as part of the 5th Air Force in the 319th Bomb Squadron, 90th Bomb Group. He was a 1st Lieutenant. He told us his stories of this time in his life and of almost being shot down. Before he passed away in 2005, he relived these events.
    I pray daily for the brave men and women that serve our country!
    Thanks for the great post!

  7. HI!!!
    I never take our freedom for granted and as we all know Freedom is not free!!!!!I'm so grateful for all those who served in WW2, God Bless those Men, that was a tough battle, after watching Saving Private Ryan, I do not know how they persevered and fought. But Praise God we were victoriuos!!!!!!

  8. Marydon, this post is wonderful...the moment I saw what you were writing about, my heart was moved, and then to hear the music you have to accompany the photos is sooooo stirring. I love to watch old war movies..the courage that can be found in a man, or woman, fighting for such a great cause as freedom is incredible to behold. I love the Gaither's song Let Freedom Ring, on my sidebar, because they sing about freedom being the very foundation of life, beginning at birth...God intended for us to be free, and He offers the freedom to choose even life or death in eternity. It is God's purpose and plan for us to live it any wonder that we are outraged at the attemps to steal our freedoms by those that profess to care for us...a tremendous insult to both God and man.

    Let us continue to pray for God's plans to unfold, so we will soon see His face coming from the skies in glory, to show the world that HE IS LORD!

    God bless,

  9. Dear Marydon,
    I believe that you read my mind today.
    Monday is Pearl Harbour Day and it is a day of special meaning for me and my family.
    My Father was a Pearl Harbour Survivor.
    He passed away in 2004. He was always so proud that he served his country. He never bragged, he never talked about that day much and he never regretted being there. He used to say that the real heros were the ones who lost their lives that day.
    Thank you for your tribute to our soldiers. Thank God they serve so we can all be free.

  10. Your blog is wonderful! Thank you for visiting and your nice comments! I will be following! I really liked your article on Bing Crosby, too. Kerrie

  11. We need the reminders, thank you. Our wonderful lives didn't come without huge cost.

  12. Thank you Mary Don. I had the privilege of visiting Pearl Harbor five years ago and was so moved. My dad was in Europe during WWII with the Army. Spent some time last month with a dear family friend who was a prisoner of war in Germany for 18 months during the war and blessedly he is celebrating his 90th birthday.

  13. God bless your sweet heart for posting this and keeping the memories alive! Ooooh, I just love this post!