Only a few survivors will celebrate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day this December 7. Those remaining are now well into their 90’s.
Author Bess Taubman has created a unique way to keep their story alive. It’s a book entitled: “My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941: A Nostalgic Collection of Memories.”
“The attack on Pearl Harbor will always be remembered in general,” says Taubman of her award-winning, stunningly visual WWII scrapbook. “But the individual atrocities and heroics are in danger of being forgotten. It is important for me to pass on the legacy of those colorful stories to the next generation.”
In honor of the 74th anniversary of Pearl Harbor this year, Bess has compiled for your paper a list of notable (as well as little known) facts about the USS NEVADA:
•On December 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m., the ship’s band gathered on deck for the morning flag-raising. As they began playing “The Star Spangled Banner” the first bombs reverberated around the Pearl Harbor Naval Station. Not a man broke formation, even under fire, until the final note of the National Anthem ended. At 8:03 a.m. the ship was struck by a torpedo.
•The USS NEVADA was the end vessel on Battleship Row and, the only battleship to get underway during the attack. It was struck by one Japanese torpedo and five 551 lbs. bombs.
•The NEVADA quickly became a target for Japanese dive bombers. Many of the NEVADA’s crew would be cited for their heroic attempt to get their ship to the open sea.
•Its gallant dash ended with the intentional beaching of the ship to prevent it from sinking in the harbor channel.
•On February 12, 1942, the NEVADA was refloated and sent to dry dock. There the ship received temporary repairs. In late December 1942, the NEVADA rejoined the Pacific Fleet.
•The NEVADA survived Pearl Harbor, the Aleutian Campaign, the North American Patrol, the Normandy Landings, the Invasion of Southern France, Okinawa and even an atom bomb as the target for Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll in 1946 and ultimately sunk as a target of Hawaii on July 31, 1948 by rockets, torpedoes and gunfire from U.S. ships.
•Known as “The Cheer-up” ship, the NEVADA earned its nickname as it got underway during the height of the Japanese onslaught and moved down the channel, sailing past the devastation and destruction of Battleship Row. In proud excitement, the men on nearby ships cheered at the sight of NEVADA’s heroic effort to reach the open sea.