Friday, December 27, 2013

Pearl Harbor Survivor Werner Klemm Recounts That Day-- Part 2

Werner Klemm's battle station was to get ammunition to the ship's anti-aircraft guns: "While rushing to my station, stuff started blowing up all over. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a plane coming right down on us." That plane was so close that he saw its pilot, "There was this Japanese with his head over the side, looking at me." He saw two bombs drop.

"I dropped the ammunition on the deck, put my hands on the deck and kind of prayed a little. The bomb on my side dropped in the water. All I did was get soaked and splashed."

The bomb on the other side blew up before it hit the water, "It took out the whole gun crew. It killed my best friend. His name was Roy A. Gross. He was from Oak Park, Illinois. He was a boilermaker striker like I was." Three others on the Dobbin were killed by that bomb.

Later, Klemm got on a 36-foot whale boat to rescue survivors while the water was on fire. They would pick up any person they came across, dead or alive, and pull them aboard hard. "Everything was slippery. Some were so badly burnt, their skin came right off their arm. Some would holler. Some would not holler."

Mr. Klemm served in the Navy in the Pacific until 1945.

--GreGen

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