Monday, December 16, 2013

That "Infamous" Morning on the USS Oklahoma-- Part 2: Going Back for the Book

Unfortunately for the USS Oklahoma, the crew had opened all the watertight compartments the previous Friday in preparation for the admiral's inspection. Water poured in. Said Paul Goodyear, "We were just like an eggshell. One torpedo would have sunk us." The ship began listing quickly and was mast down in the harbor in 11 minutes.

When he saw a 36-inch long telescope slide across the bridge he decided, "Let's get out of here." They had gotten from the signal deck to the boat deck when he remembered the secret signal book still on his desk on signal deck. The Oklahoma was listing at 30 degrees by then, but even so, he went back to get it. After all, it was his responsibility.

And, it was a heavy book as it had lead covers so it would sink if necessary.

When he got back to the boat deck, he took a quick lean against a ladder to catch his breath when he saw the USS Arizona take its fatal blow. According to Goodyear, it was hit on the port side, not starboard as "psuado historians" say who weren't even born when it happened. He was right there looking down the length of the Arizona.

More to Come. --GreGen

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