Skip to comments.The Pearl Harbor hero who’s now a record-breaking author
Posted on 10/30/2017 9:44:32 AM PDT by cdga5for4
On 7 December 7 1941, the United States experienced one of its most defining moments in history: the attack on Pearl Harbor.
A day of sadness, fear, and chaos that early Sunday morning marked the unforgettable time that the Japanese attacked the Hawaiian naval base, forcing America to enter World War II.
In total, 2,403 men and women were killed during the surprise attack, with thousands more left to recover from terrible injuries and acute burns.
Though many were sadly unable to recount their experience from that fateful incident, Naval Lieutenant Jim Downing currently lives on to tell the tale.
The 104-year-old veteran, who has now become the worlds Oldest male author, has written his latest work on his firsthand experience of the day when he voluntarily charged into the brunt of anarchy to save his fellow brethren.
BTW, Herman Wouk is 102.
Interesting. This award is for how old the author is when he or she actually publishers the book.
I know Wouk published a book last year.
USS West Virginia (BB-48), a Colorado-class battleship, was the second United States Navy ship named in honor of the country's 35th state. She was laid down on 12 April 1920 at Newport News, Virginia, launched on 19 November 1921 and commissioned on 1 December 1923. Her first captain was Thomas J. Senn. After her shakedown and crew training were finished, she was overhauled at Hampton Roads and later ran aground in Lynnhaven Channel.
After her repairs she participated in exercises and engineering and gunnery courses, winning four medals in the latter. She participated in other fleet tactical development operations until 1939. In 1940 she was transferred to Pearl Harbor to guard against potential Japanese attack, and was sunk by six torpedoes and two bombs during the attack on Pearl Harbor. On 17 May 1942, she was salvaged from the seabed by draining the water from her hull.
After repairs in Pearl Harbor, she sailed to the Puget Sound Navy Yard. There she received an extensive refit, including the replacement of her 5-inch (127 mm)/25 caliber anti-aircraft guns and single-purpose 5-inch (127 mm)/51 caliber guns with 5-inch (127 mm)/38 caliber anti-aircraft guns. She left Puget Sound in July 1944 for Leyte Gulf.
She bombarded Leyte in November 1944, becoming part of a successful American plan to destroy the portion of the Japanese fleet trying to sail through the Surigao Strait, and later attacked Iwo Jima and Okinawa. At the end of the Pacific War she entered Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender and became part of Operation Magic Carpet, making three runs to Hawaii to transport veterans home. She was deactivated on 9 January 1947 and laid up at Bremerton, Washington, until sold for scrap on 24 August 1959.
My dad served as a Machinist Mate in the Engineering Dept. of the West Virginia during the war. He enlisted in 1940 and served onboard the USS Yorktown until she was sunk at the Battle Midway. He and the other Yorktown engineers with names starting with A through M were assigned to the West Virginia. The remaining Yorktown Engineers went to the USS California. First job on the West Virginia (She was in dry dock at PHNS) was to muck out the 6 foot or so of Pearl Harbor mud from the main propulsion and auxiliary machinery spaces. During the work, they discovered uncovered the bodies of several sailors killed during the attack. He sailed on her throughout the war and remained onboard
until she reached the Bremerton Naval Ship Yard for decommissioning January of 1946.
Wow, that must have a horrible experience. Sounds like you have a dad to be proud of. My father and his father served in the Navy at the same time. He didn't talk much about the war, but, from what I recall him saying at least once was that he operated the guns on an aircraft carrier.
He certainly was.
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