Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pearl Harbor Survivor Howard "Howie" Snell

From the April 22, 2013, Kingman (Az) Daily Miner "Kingman is now the home port of this Pearl Harbor survivor" by Doug McMurdo.

Howie Snell, 99,  heard an explosion while heading to the messd eck for breakfast.  He was just 18, having joined the Navy while still in high school in February 1941.  He was at the sub base and remembered: "The Oklahoma, she'd already capsized by the time I looked over at Battleship Row.  At that time, the Arizona blew.  They issued me an old Springfield rifle that hadn't fired a shot since World War I."

He shot at the Japanese planes but is sure he didn't hit any.

After Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and met Admiral William Halsey during his first week aboard.

He was at the Battles of Midway, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz Islands, Guadalcanal, Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf.  In 1943, he was transferred to the destroyer USS Morrison which was hit by a bomb at Leyte Gulf.

The Battle of Okinawa was the last for his destroyer.  On March 31st, they sank a Japanese submarine and picked up one survivor.  Snell made rice for him, but he refused to eat it.  Snell took a lot of ribbing about his food being so bad the enemy wouldn't even eat it.

Some two months later, Snell got ahold of some fresh frozen raspberries and made 35 gallons of ice cream but never got to taste it.  On May 5, 1945, four Japanese kamikazes crashed into the Morrison which sank in 3-4 minutes.  All that ice cream went down with the ship and 155 men died.  Snell was one of 187 survivors picked up three hours later.

Wonder What Fish Got That Ice Cream?  --GreGen

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