Segment 3


Ward found out that the man on the other side of the headphones died about six years ago. Ward wore the headphones until four o'clock that afternoon because they did not know if the Japanese were going to come back. Ward notes that the response to the first wave was slow, however when the second wave of Japanese planes came they were met with anti-aircraft fire and a few American planes. The Japanese had totally destroyed the Naval Air Station. When it came to an anti-aircraft response, the San Francisco had 2.5 inch guns which were called dual purpose guns. They could train upwards at about 60 degrees. The shells were timed to explode at various levels. Very little anti-aircraft fire was fired at the Japanese that day. Some of the guys fired .30 caliber machine guns. The only fast moving planes Ward saw were the Japanese fighters. They would circle above, fly down, strafe the ships and return to an over watch position. The attack started at five minutes to eight o’clock. The first wave was done by about 8:40 or 8:45. It was quiet for a few moments and then at about 9 AM the second wave came in and finished the job. There were boats and small craft everywhere responding to battleship row. There were tons of sailors in the water. Ward is not sure how anyone got off of the Oklahoma. Some guys did make it off. Ward has no idea how anyone got off of the Oklahoma who was inside of the ship. Ward went into Pearl Harbor in 1943 and saw the holes cut in the bottom where rescuers had cut the bottom of the ship. The rest of the ships sunk and settled on the bottom. The former skipper of the San Francisco was in command of the Utah, he saved her by running around the point on Ford Island and he ran it aground. The Utah ended up in the Atlantic as a participant in the European Theater. The Japanese totally incapacitated Pearl Harbor. They were unfortunate because they did not catch the carriers in Pearl Harbor. Later some of those carriers were sunk. Ward recalls witnessing the Wasp go down. It was like a barn fire, no one could put the fire out. A destroyer came along and put two torpedoes in the Wasp in order to sink it. The night after the Pearl Harbor attack, Ward recalls that it was very quiet. He notes that it was a different kind of quiet. Everyone was stunned. Ward went below deck after they secured from general quarters. There was a numbing silence, it was as if people were walking into a church, mostly people were stunned and scared. They were scared. No one had been to war before. They did not even know how to fight a damn war, the Japanese taught them.


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