by Nancy A. Nease - 10 December 2011 - Published 3:29pm PST - Updated 13 December 2011 2:03am PST
He didn't make it to the 70th Pearl Harbor Anniversary Commemoration ceremonies. He had to cancel just two weeks before he was due to leave for Hawaii; health issues.
Glenn Harvey Lane of Oak Harbor, WA passed away this morning, December 10, 2011. He was stationed onboard the USS Arizona during the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Lane was not just a survivor of one ship, USS Arizona; he survived a second ship, USS Nevada.
"We started to go to the third deck and 'General Quarters' sounded. We had a G.Q. station which was a repair station aft on the quarter deck." Lane recalled.
Lane started up the ladder to go to his G.Q. station but marine lieutenant stopped him to ask where he was going. "To my battle station," Lane replied. The lieutenant told him to come back down, there would be no panic on the ship. "I was not panicking," Glenn recalled, "I knew where I was going so I shouldered my way past him and went to my G.Q. station." The marine lieutenant did not survive.
The ship was hit again. "I'd get up only to be knocked down again. We were hit by one heavy bomb which penetrated the decks near the forward turrets and ignited the thousands of pounds of gun powder in the magazines... The shock wave of fire and wind cleared the men off the decks. I was swept aft by the concussion... I felt like I was dying..."
Glenn Lane, along with several other men, found himself thrown into the water with no life jacket, swimming as best he could. Lane could see Ford Island but he didn't think he could make it that far. The USS Nevada was moored aft of them and was preparing to get under way. "It looked to me that our best move was to swim to the Nevada gangway and board her... The gangway was decorated with snow white canvas and frills of whiteline. We were so filthy with oil that we blackened the fancy gangway so much that I worried, 'if the boatswain mates see it they might shoot us.'"
The Nevada was underway and passing close to the burning Arizona. Lane helped man the 5" gun in the casemate but it was ineffective against aircraft. "The ship [Nevada] was hit several time as it neard the floating dry dock... and stopped moving."
Glenn helped some of the wounded get into a life raft to go to the Navy yard hospital. Lane recalled the carnage on the boat deck, "A bomb hit there and killed several antiaircraft gunners. The bodies were strewn around the deck. We put wet mattresses on the fires, stomped on them and went down for another one. I continued on the job until I was so fatigued I was dizzy. I went into the blacksmith shop to lie down and went to sleep in a corner."
Lane was discovered later by two hospital corpsmen. "When they moved me, I was in such pain... they put me aboard a motor launch for transportation to the hospital ship Solace..."
Lane continued to fly in the Pacific war, antisubmarine flights, mainly in carrier S.B.D. diver bombers, and attended special radar school.
Glenn Lane's Navy career spanned 30 years and three wars. Over 60 years later, on April 18 2004, Lane was awarded his long overdue Purple Heart. "I asked to see his Purple Heart one day," Trish Anderson, Lane's daughter, said in a 2004 interview. "I was so surprised he didn't have one. I knew he had shrapnel wounds and was burnt. Once I got over the shock of him not having a Purple Heart, I said I would see he got one."
In the 2004 interview, Anderson said she made lots of telephone calls and pushed a lot of paper to get her father his Purple Heart.
The Purple Heart is a special award for Glenn Lane. On the back, it reads, For Military Merit. "It's not just for wounds," he said.
"I know he was really upset that he was unable to go to Hawaii with his buddies for this special event [70th Anniversary]," daughter Trish Anderson said. Glenn Lane last traveled to Hawaii in 2008 for the 68th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Glenn Harvey Lane was born January 29, 1918 on a farm in Williams Iowa to Frank and Pauline Lane. He was preceeded in death by his wife, Beverly.
Services will be Monday 1PM December 19th in Oak Harbor, WA. Arrangements will be handled by Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor.
There are now only 17 known living survivors of the USS Arizona.