Rude Awakening

Uploaded by WWIIValorNPS on 30.12.2011

My name is Jack Ray Hammet. I'd been a seaman and I felt that I'd like
to live like the Pharmacist's Mates live,
which they lived pretty well aboard ship. And then I supposed to go to Hospital Corps
School in San Diego to become a Hospital Apprentice.
But instead, they changed my rate from Seaman First Class to
Hospital Apprentice First Class and transferred me, by motorlodge, over to
the Navy Hospital Pearl Harbor, which I didn't like because
I was recently married and my wife was in California, in San Pedro
and I wanted to go back. And she came out on April the 1st, 1941
on the "Lurlene." And then our life was really good because
we'd never really had a honeymoon 'cause we were just kids.
When we enjoyed it very much until the "Rude Awakening," of course,
on December the 7th. I rush out and took a look
down to the Pearl Harbor. We could see all that was happening.
By the time I got into the Pearl Harbor, and got to the hospital
the second wave was coming in. And we got very, very busy.
There was a lot of casualities coming in fast. We always got the aftermath.
We got what was left of the human carnage and it was a very depressing type of thing.
When I was down in the basement along with all those bodies
alone and it was dark all that firing going on
I'll remember 'til the day I die the firing stopped
and I find myself down there all alone I don't know how many bodies
there's probably 100 bodies all stacked around and I panicked trying to get up
to go back to try to get upstairs again and I stumbled and fell over all those bodies
and finally got upstairs and was hyperventilating like crazy
was a mess, obviously. One of the guys tried to stable me down
and I had a piece of intestines stuck through my shoelaces.
That'll... and that...
and the smell... those two things,
I'll never forget. Probably about six months after that
I would have nightmares. And now that I look back on it
I guess it was kinda humorous when you stop to think about it
but it wasn't humorous at that time.