- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Saturday, 21 November 2015 21:56
- Published: Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00
TUESDAY: I still hadn't taken a shower or cleaned the oil out of my hair, so the pharmacist thought I had better get that job done. I didn't realize I was such a mess until I started to clean up. My hair was so full of oil I had to have one of the pharmacists help me wash it out.
By this time, my lungs were in bad shape, too. I could only take half a breath before it felt like a knife was being stuck in my back. The pharmacist gave me an Indian water pipe with some medicine in it to breath into my lungs. That helped my breathing a great deal.
WEDNESDAY: I started to feel better so I was sent over to the receiving barracks that had been set up in the recreation hall. I was interviewed again so I could be reassigned to duty. At this time, we were given a postcard to fill out so we could notify our families of our condition. I also sent a short note to the family of my best friend and conveyed my sympathy to them.
The Navy was also in need of silhouettes of the Japanese planes that had attacked Pearl Harbor. They asked for help from those of us who had made model airplanes. I was just being assigned to a group to start making models when my name was called out for assignment to the USS Farragut, DD348.
That evening, after mess call, they sent all of us who were reassigned to ships to one of the ammunition ships to wait for our assigned ships to come back into port.
Since our stay was only temporary on this ship, we had to find a place on deck to sleep. We all took a life jacket that was stored overhead in the passageway to use for a pillow and went to sleep.
THURSDAY: About two o'clock in the morning, a boatswain mate came down the deck and gave us all a crack on our feet with a club (this by way of getting you up in a hurry) and told us to report to the ammunition hold. Some of the men had been assigned to this destroyer, so they went aboard after the munitions were all aboard. The rest of us went back to our life jackets and slept until it was time for breakfast.
FRIDAY: It must have been close to 10 AM when the USS Farragut sent a whale boat over for me. Since I had been an electrician's striker on board the USS Arizona and had made that my choice in my reassigning interview, I went aboard the USS Farragut as an electrician mate's striker too. I was immediately introduced to the chief electrician's mate. He wanted to know all about my experiences on board the USS Arizona.
I spent one year to about the day on board the Arizona. The ship was a great loss to the Navy in both manpower and the vessels. We can only wonder what part she would have played in the war. The USS Arizona Memorial will always be a reminder to all of us of the sacrifices that were made on December 7, 1941. May we remember the price that was paid for Peace.
Information researched and compiled by I. B. Nease and N. A. Nease and provided on USSARIZONA.ORG free of charge.
May not be reprinted in any form, other than educational use, without prior written permission of the author.
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