Witness to History

Uploaded by WWIIValorNPS on 05.12.2010

I don't remember very much, if anything, about December 6th but I must
say, of all the days of my entire life the only one I remember almost...
every minute of the day, was December 7th.
I began to hear a lot of aircraft roaring overhead.
So... I looked out the side window of the house
I remember the bullets hitting the ground right in front of my eyes
and not knowing what that meant. I turned around and I looked out
and about that time is when I seen
there were four planes coming at a direct shooting right straight at us.
You couldn't see the torpedoes drop, but when he turned up and went away like this;
you could actually see him and you could see the torpedoes coming straight at us.
And I would say they was less than 300 feet from us when you first spotted them.
I was sound asleep in my pajamas.
I had the lower bunk. We were in a two bunk room.
And my roomate was above me. And the gong went off
and absolutely just blew you out of your bed! Bang, bang bang!
And then, when the gong stopped, then was the bugle.
General Quarters [Whistling]
I can hear that bugle now. Then when the bugle stopped
here came on the loudspeaker, "Man your Battle Stations
We're being bombed This is no drill!"
And wow! That gets That for reveille... gets you up pretty...
That gets your attention. And all of a sudden
we heard the planes just going back and forth, and shooting at
each other. And my father said,
"Run!" So we ran under a big tree
and I remember hanging on to the bark of the tree
and looking up and seeing planes shooting at each other.
We could hear the machine gun bullets hitting the turret.
We felt the thud of the torpedo. And we took the sight cap off our periscope,
looked through it, and... BAM!
There went the "Arizona." And I...
I estimated about 32 bodies went flying through the air.
Well, about that time somebody shouted, "Dive Bombers! Dive Bombers!"
And I ran over to the port side where the call had come from
and looked up and here was a line of dive bombers.
And the Number 3 came down and when he let his bomb go,
it didn't drift anywhere; it just got bigger. And I knew,
just from the sight of it, that this was a direct hit.
And the thing that flashed through my mind is,
"You're a dead man. You're going to get killed." And my first thought then was,
"Mother, I'm sorry. I'm not gonna make it."
I remember going down to the leaving the hospital, the triage area,
where I was in the morgue, walking down probably 200 yards to the channel,
and seeing the desolation and the carnage, there's still bodies in the water, floating,
here and there. The smoke, the oil, and the grease
It was very depressing. And we all... People cried...unashamedly.
And then, "Okay, that's enough of that. Let's get back to work" attitude.
President Roosevelt: December 7th, 1941 a date which will live in infamy.
United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked
by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.