Friday, May 6, 2016

New Jersey Pearl Harbor Survivor Ralph Jeffers Dies-- Part 2

Ralph Jeffers enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 1937 and was at Pearl Harbor that day aboard the seaplane tender USS Curtiss.  Much of the crew were having breakfast when they heard a "horrendous" noise.

"We looked through the hatch and saw the USS Utah turning over," Jeffers said.  "Then we heard those dreaded words, 'All hands to battle stations.  This is no drill.'"

The Curtiss survived the attack, but 29 crew members were dead and more than 40 wounded.

Pearl Harbor caused the United States to enter the war, but Ralph Jeffers says that the importance of it was not fully embraced by the public until decades later.

"When I came back to the states in '43, nobody cared about Pearl harbor.  In the '50s and '60s, nobody cared about Pearl harbor."


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