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Topic: To Stay Alive ...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2001,8:19  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE USS ARIZONA & PEARL HARBOR REMEMBERED MESSAGE BOARD - 10/8/00)

To the men on the Arizona  (NOTE:  THIS WAS CORRECTED IN A LATER POST.  THE SHIP THE POSTER WAS REFERRING TO WAS THE USS WEST VIRGINIA)...

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed to this site. All very nice job.  The site caught my eye so I thought I would share on your message board.  The Arizona nor pearl harbor ever really had the impact it does on me today.  Well until I heard a documentary many years ago on television of the events of 7:55 A.M. 12/7/41.

Briefly they explained how the Arizona was hit so hard it sank in under 8 minutes.  That was pretty dog gone fast for a ship that size I might add.  When the forward magazine ignited there was nowhere for the men on board to run.  The waters rushed through the corridors with such force that they could not venture outside to escape.   According to this footage they instead went back where they came from and sealed themselves behind the water tight doors to stay alive.

Stay alive they did.  Every day from December 7th the Navy would send scout boats out to the Arizona wreckage to survey the damage.  And every day the scout boats could hear the men entombed on the Arizona banging frantically on the massive hull.  Trying to let someone know they were still alive everyday beating and beating on the steel.  This went on day after day without fail.  The scout boats would report what they had heard.  This only stopped on December 25th when the Navy stopped sending out scout boats to the twisted mass.

Incredible to think that to this day we have no way to rescue people on a sunken mass of iron that we have created.  And this in such shallow water.  The deck is about 3 feet from the surface at some points I have been there to see it myself.

Just so close...

Every year starting on Dec. 7th I put my American flag proudly on the front of my house along with over 30,000 Christmas lights so everyone can see it in honor of those who died that day or should I say those who were on board that day.  And it stays on my house every day and every night 24 hours ripped apart by the wind and rain bending the pole it is attached to back and forth as it tears apart the eve from the house until Christmas morning when I finally take it down.  I hold that flag for a moment and realize how proud I am of the men who served that morning over 50 years ago.  

I also have written the newspapers of this scout boat story a number of times at least a week in advance the 7th and they publish it.  Last year from one of the newspaper articles I submitted I received a surprise phone call from Frank Hogya.  Frank was the Chief Opticalman who was on aboard the USS Nevada (BB36) that day at 7:55 A.M.  Turns out Frank lives about 15 miles from me and only a stones throw from the Arizona.  He invited me over after reading the article that I wrote.  I spent quite a bit of time with him and he told me quite a bit about what he experienced that day. He expressed his concerns of how our government handled everything from that moment until the present.  The jest of his conveyance was that he wanted to pass on to me his experiences so that no one would forget!!!!!! Honestly,  it was quite an honor to meet him.  

And my words to you are this.... "Those who were there that day become fewer and fewer every year." "It will only be a short time when there will be no one left to tell of what happened". "Let their stories be told".  This event is on Frank's mind everyday of his life to us this is just a story.

joe
jvesalga@aol.coim

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2001,8:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE USS ARIZONA & PEARL HARBOR REMEMBERED MESSAGE BOARD - 10/9/00)

Hi Joe,

Yes, USS Arizona went down but much quicker than 8 minutes.  The bomb hit at 0810, exploded the forward magazine.  The ship had the bottom break and she was gone.  The crew forward had no chances of escape. Those in the aft that had already closed watertight doors had no time to escape.  The tapping ceased after just a couple of days.

On USS West Virginia, just forward of Arizona, the ship sank from nine torpedo hits.  The tapping ceased just before Christmas.  On entering drydock the chalk marks on the bulkhead counted the days in the particular section.  

Mixing the two ships' historys into one is easy.

Cheers,

David Aiken
a Director
Pearl Harbor History Associates Inc.
David_Aiken@hotmail.com

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2001,12:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The number of hits on the WeeVee were as follows:

Nine (9) type 91 Mod. 2 torpedoes hits and two (2) 800kg  Armor Piercing  Type 99  No.80  Mk-5  bombs hits.  Both heavy bombs failed to detonate.

Special note:
With one exception, all the torpedoes exploded on or above the West Virginia's 13.5" armored belt.   She was very over weight.  The WeeVee's  draft and depth of her armored belt ran extra deep.  Unaware, the  Japanese set their torpedoes to run at the four meter depth setting.  Had the Japanese set  their torpedoes to run at the number three (six meter depth) setting, the WeeVee would have probably sat out the war along side the Oklahoma as a total loss!

John D.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 13 2001,7:02 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recall watching a documentary done in 1991, by CBS, I believe, where they discussed PH and interviewed many surviors.

One gentleman, I cannot now recall his name, discussed how they had to continue security patrol along the ships for days and weeks after the attack.  He specifically mentioned how the "tapping" would be more evident at night-time, when things had quieted down, the station was "blacked-out", etc.  

How VERY DIFFICULT it must have been for those men to hear those sounds and know that there was nothing that could be done to save those brave men......!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2001,10:25 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The man in the documentary talking about the tapping on the West Virginia was Dick Fiske,Marine bugler for the W.V. Those men were trapped in the steering room at the bottom of the ship. My father was trapped in # 3 deck and was rescued by a ship-fitter. I grew up hearing the stories of this ship. If not for the fast thinking of lt. Claude Ricketts, who counter-flooded the ship, it would have turned over . The California was not so lucky-the amatuers who counter-flooded that ship(the damage control guys were on shore) flooded the wrong voids,hastening her sinking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2001,9:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Roger,
Welcome aboard. Its okay to use your real name than the "Band22" as it helps us know you. We monitor the site well.

Yes, Dick Fiske is a good friend of John DeVirgilio and myself. In November 1991, we introduced Dick to one of the Japanese pilots that bombed Dick's ship, WeeVee, and two of his golfing buddies. The maitre d' of the hotel resturant was so impressed she brought out champagne for the occasion. The following day, John arranged that Dick and the pilot have a quiet time together on USS Arizona Memorial (Park Rangers only). They cried together.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 19 2001,3:15 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John, you seem to have a vast amount of information on the West Virginia.  I was wondering if you could tell me a little something about a friend I lost that morning.  His name was Sanford V. Kelley, Jr. from Cordele, GA, and he was a GM3c.  I think he was on one of the 5 inch AA guns.  I know a bomb went through near mount 3 or 4 and exploded in a casemate and I often wondered if this is how he met his end.  I also heard from action reports that alot of the men on the port side guns helped man the starboard guns instead because the ship's list was so severe.  Would you be able to confirm what happened?  Thank you very much.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2001,4:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Whether the Arizona went down in 8 minutes or 8 seconds is of real importantce to history.  Knowing helps understand the how, and that is important.

Whether the tapping went on for hours, or days, or a month, is a statistical and historic fact.  I don't know the answer and I think no one really does.  History is very importqant, but maybe we really do not want to know, and maybe could not accept the real historical answer.

We couldn't bring them out then, and we can't bring them out now.  But we can bring them all home, in our hearts.  That is all we have now.

I can still hear the tapping.  Welcome home, well done.  You died to change the world, it was not in vain.  Welcome home, well done.

ben

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2001,9:41 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, Dick Fiske!!  Thanks, gang!  I KNOW I have that video buried somewhere but haven't had the chance to view it!  

What an AMAZING STORY!!!  How powerful to realize that two "enemies" were finally able to come together and grieve!!  How much healing must have occurred!!!

John, David:  I certainly hope I can get to Pearl before these brave men have all passed!!  I have corresponded with a couple of PH Survivors thru the PH website and have certainly been honored to do so!

THANK YOU, VETERANS!  FOR PRESERVING OUR FREEDOM!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,3:16 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello,
In response to David's post of March 19, there was another survivor who met with a Japanese pilot 20 November 1990. Joseph Langdell of the USS Arizona. He gave a moving statement to the pilot which can be read at:
http://arizonareunion.homestead.com/statement.html

Mr. Langdell is one of three principal figures in the television documentary, "USS Arizona: Life and Death of a Lady" which aired of the A&E cable network in 1991 and 1992.  During an historic moment aboard the USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL, former ARIZONA Officer Joseph Langdell accepts a floral wreath in memory of ARIZONA'S entombed from former Japanese Lt. Commander Zenji Abe, a pilot who dropped a bomb on the ship. I believe a copy of the documentary can still be obtained from Mr. Langdell. There is more information regarding Mr. Langdell and the documentary at:
http://arizonareunion.homestead.com/langdell.html

The documentary as well as Mr. Langdell's statement are simply fantastic and very moving. I hope everyone gets a chance to view the documentary at some point.

N. Nease

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