Friday, December 20, 2013

That "Infamous" Morning on the USS Oklahoma-- Part 4: Trapped Below Decks and Father Schmitt

A total of 527 men died on the USS Oklahoma that day. Most of the survivors jumped off the deck or squeezed through 12-14-inch portholes. The men Paul Goodyear had relieved early so they could get breakfast before the mess closed all died.

The ship's chaplain , Father Al Schmitt, had an office with a 14-inch porthole and pushed 10-12 kids through it before being trapped himself and drowning. Goodyear is still angry that Schmitt did not receive a Medal of Honor for that.

Thirty-two men were rescued by cutting through the hull, but another 400 were trapped. Tapping continued from inside for three days before it stopped.


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