Monday, December 16, 2013

That "Infamous" Morning: USS Oklahoma-- Part 1

From the Dec. 7, 2013, Casa Grande (Arizona) Dispatch "Infamous Morning" by Susan Randall.

Paul Goodyear was a 23-year-old petty officer third class on the USS Oklahoma that Dec. 7th morning. He and three signal men "strikers" were on the signal deck of the ship early so the previous watch could eat breakfast before the mess hall closed at 8 AM.

He saw a line of planes coming in but didn't think much of it, then he saw them drop what he took to be practice bombs. As the third one fell, the first one blew up the seaplane hangar. It was then that he saw the symbol of the Rising Sun on the planes.

He looked over his left shoulder and saw planes flying at them from the Southwest Loch. The first one dropped a torpedo. "Hang on, Red!!" he shouted to striker Red Luttrell. "Here comes a fish!" He saw at least nine more drop. When they went off, the Oklahoma lost at least 250 of its 583 feet portside. And, then things got really bad.

--GreGen

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