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Category Archives: Pearl Harbor

Then and Now: Midway and Submarine Force

By Rear Adm. Blake Converse, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

“When I assumed command of the Pacific Fleet on 31 December 1941, our submarines were already operating against the enemy, the only units of the fleet that could come to grips with the Japanese for months to come. It was to the submarine force that I looked to carry the load. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of great peril.” — Adm. Chester Nimitz, Commander, U.S. Pacific

Midway, a feature-length film scheduled for release on November 8, tells the story of the Sailors who fought so bravely in June 1942 to thwart the Japanese attack at Midway.  This retelling comes at a critical time for our Navy and our nation. Seeing the Battle of Midway on the big screen serves as a reminder of the critical importance of a strong and combat ready Navy to the security of our Nation. 

As you walk the historic submarine piers of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, you see visceral reminders of the beginning of the war and its conclusion – the memorial to USS Arizona (BB-39), which was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the battleship USS Missouri (BB-61), on which the peace agreement was signed in Tokyo Harbor to end the war. Adm. Nimitz also walked on these piers during WWII and witnessed both the devastation of the Pearl Harbor attack and the unparalleled industriousness of our Navy and civilian work force as they recovered from that attack, rebuilt our Navy, and set sail to take the fight to the enemy at the Battle of Midway.   

In May 1942, the submarine USS Nautilus (SS 168), under the command of Lt. Cmdr. William Brockman Jr., departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for her first war patrol. Her mission was to search for the Japanese fleet sailing for Midway, and she succeeded.  USS Nautilus assisted in leading U.S. aircraft directly to the Japanese carrier Hiryu and harassing the enemy while our aircraft ravaged the Japanese Fleet. USS Nautilus survived 42 depth charges, several of her torpedoes failed to detonate, and Japanese aircraft and ships spotted her multiple times, forcing Nautilus to dive and evade multiple times. Yet, despite these challenges, the crew’s efforts were critical to the success of the battle and resulted in Brockman receiving the Navy Cross for the Battle of Midway.  

USS Nautilus (SS-168) underway, March 1933. (U.S. National Archives photo.)

U.S. submarines would go on to take the fight to the Japanese across the Pacific, wreaking havoc on the critical maritime supply routes that supported their industry, and ravaging their warships. Although submarines only made up only 2% of our entire Navy during WWII, they sank 30% of Japanese warships and 55% of Japanese merchant ships.  

But this wartime effort was not without significant sacrifice. The U.S. submarine force experienced some of the highest casualty rates of any force in WWII. A foundational part of our training as submariners is the study of this legacy of sacrifice and commitment in the face of the enemy. In this training, we make it a point to ensure that today’s submariners recognize that even though we eventually achieved victory, we were not ready for unrestricted submarine warfare when we entered the fight after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our weapons were erratic, our tactics unrefined, and our training inadequate to the task. Yes, we eventually overcame each of these obstacles to halt the Japanese advance and set the conditions for victory in the Pacific, but there is no guarantee that the pace of future combat operations will forgive such a lack of foresight and preparation. We have to be ready to deploy and sustain high-end combat operations with little or no warning – and today we exercise that every single day in our Submarine Force. 

USS Tang (SS 306) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, Dec.2, 1943. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.)

Last month, we celebrated the return of USS Olympia (SSN 717), our oldest Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, from her final deployment. Olympia completed a circumnavigation of the earth, transiting both the Panama Canal and Suez Canal, and conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. Shortly after USS Olympia’s successful return, we welcomed home one of our newest Virginia class fast attack submarines, USS Illinois (SSN 786), who returned to Pearl Harbor from her first deployment. She was the first Block II Virginia-class submarine to ever deploy to the Indo-Pacific region, during which, the crew completed a full spectrum of operations to support the highest priority tasking.

USS Illinois (SSN 786) departs Groton, Connecticut to conduct sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat.)

We are in an era of great power competition. Utilizing the strength, determination, and lessons learned from those brave submariners before us, we will continue to be first to the fight, just like at Midway. We are trained, equipped, and ready to fight tonight because we have not forgotten our past.  

Editor’s Note: The four-part “Then and Now” NavyLive blog series is presented so interested audience members have an idea of what’s changed, and what has not, since the famed Battle of Midway. As the nation faces the Great Power Competition, “Midway” is an authentic representation of the Pacific in the opening months of WWII and can help people understand the value we provide today, and honors the toughness, initiative, integrity and accountability that are Sailors’ core attributes. The movie reflects the extraordinary determination and courage of those who fought in WWII, and showcases how the Navy team worked together then, as we do today.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/10/29/then-and-now-midway-and-submarine-force/ poyrazdogany

Hopper: Innovation, Transformation, Inspiration

By Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

During last month’s historic first visit of the voyaging canoe Hokule‘a to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson spoke about his father, Myron “Pinky” Thompson, who was 15 years old at the time of the attack on Oahu Dec. 7, 1941. As soon as he was able, Pinky Thompson, like a lot of other young men at the time, falsified his age and joined the military to serve his country.

Women in the 1940s did not have as many opportunities to serve in uniform but the war opened occupations and doors, including for a smart mathematician named Grace Murray Hopper. Hopper wanted to join the military but, like Pinky Thompson, she had an obstacle because of her age. In her case, in her mid-30s, she was deemed too old to enlist.

Feisty and gritty Hopper didn’t give up though.

Just as she would do throughout her life, Hopper rose to the challenge and found solutions. When her chance came in 1943, she signed up with the U.S. Navy Reserve – that was 75 years ago. She went to work as a wartime problem solver – one of our first pioneers in modern computer programming.

Capt. Grace Hopper, then head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, discusses a phase of her work with a staff member in August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)
Capt. Grace Hopper, then head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, discusses a phase of her work with a staff member in August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)

 

She and her team took a systematic approach to coding: finding effective, accurate and universal ways for humans to communicate with machines and vice versa.

Think about that the next time you talk to your smartphone, tablet or voice-controlled home speaker.

Earlier in her career, Hopper served as an educator at Vassar, training and transforming minds. Within the Navy she became a programmer with Harvard and Yale, where she transformed the technology of the future. She served throughout her life – in and out of uniform – to transform the concept of a woman’s role in society, one based on equality of opportunity.

Hopper mentored and inspired young women and men to look for innovative ways to serve. She had no time for complacency, stale thinking or laziness. And she and her teams always carefully assessed their performance to look for opportunities to improve processes and technology.

Most recently “Amazing Grace’s” namesake, USS Hopper (DDG 70) – one of our ten homeported ships at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – returned to Hawaii after a successful deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. Hopper was deployed 12 of the past 18 months.

Team Hopper proved their ability to keep the peace through their forward presence, but always ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat at sea if necessary. Hopper is among our ships adapting to the emerging security environment in the Indo-Pacific and ready to operate in a growingly complex, transforming world.

On their deployment, Sailors aboard Hopper proved their skills and abilities working with the America Amphibious Ready Group, United States Marines, and the Australian navy. They visited Bahrain, Singapore and Guam, and they built cooperative partnerships.

Hopper’s Sailors, of course, relied on state-of-the-art computers. While, today’s complex shipboard computer systems would no doubt amaze USS Hopper’s “Amazing” namesake, I suspect she would take it all in stride.

As a further testament to Rear Adm. Grace Hopper’s legacy, the U.S. Naval Academy is building Hopper Hall, to be named for the computer scientist pioneer. Hopper Hall, located between Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall, will be a modern $107-million academic facility dedicated to cyber security studies.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Oct. 21, 2016) The official party of the Hopper Hall ground breaking ceremony at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) dig out a scoop of dirt. Hopper Hall, which will house USNA's Center for Cyber Studies, is the namesake of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper who is often referred to as 'The Mother of Computing'. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Jones/Released)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Oct. 21, 2016) The official party of the Hopper Hall ground breaking ceremony at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) dig out a scoop of dirt. Hopper Hall, which will house USNA’s Center for Cyber Studies, is the namesake of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper who is often referred to as ‘The Mother of Computing’. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Jones/Released)

 

The facility is expected to be completed by early 2020, appropriately at the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote. According to the Naval Academy this will be the first building at any of the three major service academies to be named after a woman.

By the way, the Naval Academy is also teaching courses along both ends of the exploration spectrum: from futuristic and innovative cyber security – including a major in cyber operations – to ancient celestial navigation as practiced by the Polynesian Voyaging Society aboard Hokule‘a.

Putting it all together, USS Hopper returned from her recent deployment just in time to be part of the aloha whistle welcome for the arrival of Hokule‘a Feb. 10. As the voyaging canoe entered Pearl Harbor, she also sailed past memorials including USS Arizona, USS Nevada, USS Utah and the Battleship Missouri – symbols of how our Navy helped transform our world, bringing freedom and democracy to Japan and other nations who are now allies, a transformation Grace Hopper was part of. That transformation gave greater rights and equality to women in the decades that followed, especially in our Navy.

During Hokule‘a’s week at JBPHH in February, women and men of the Polynesian Voyaging Society provided hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics education for 2,000 students and other visitors.

Just like Rear Adm. Grace Hopper – innovative, transformational and inspirational.

PEARL HARBOR (Feb. 10, 2018) The traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hokule‘a, renders honors as it passes by the USS Arizona Memorial during its first-ever visit to the waters of Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Troutman/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Feb. 10, 2018) The traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hokule‘a, renders honors as it passes by the USS Arizona Memorial during its first-ever visit to the waters of Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Troutman/Released)

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/03/14/hopper-innovation-transformation-inspiration/ U.S. Navy

Hopper: Innovation, Transformation, Inspiration

By Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

During last month’s historic first visit of the voyaging canoe Hokule‘a to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson spoke about his father, Myron “Pinky” Thompson, who was 15 years old at the time of the attack on Oahu Dec. 7, 1941. As soon as he was able, Pinky Thompson, like a lot of other young men at the time, falsified his age and joined the military to serve his country.

Women in the 1940s did not have as many opportunities to serve in uniform but the war opened occupations and doors, including for a smart mathematician named Grace Murray Hopper. Hopper wanted to join the military but, like Pinky Thompson, she had an obstacle because of her age. In her case, in her mid-30s, she was deemed too old to enlist.

Feisty and gritty Hopper didn’t give up though.

Just as she would do throughout her life, Hopper rose to the challenge and found solutions. When her chance came in 1943, she signed up with the U.S. Navy Reserve – that was 75 years ago. She went to work as a wartime problem solver – one of our first pioneers in modern computer programming.

Capt. Grace Hopper, then head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, discusses a phase of her work with a staff member in August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)
Capt. Grace Hopper, then head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, discusses a phase of her work with a staff member in August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)

 

She and her team took a systematic approach to coding: finding effective, accurate and universal ways for humans to communicate with machines and vice versa.

Think about that the next time you talk to your smartphone, tablet or voice-controlled home speaker.

Earlier in her career, Hopper served as an educator at Vassar, training and transforming minds. Within the Navy she became a programmer with Harvard and Yale, where she transformed the technology of the future. She served throughout her life – in and out of uniform – to transform the concept of a woman’s role in society, one based on equality of opportunity.

Hopper mentored and inspired young women and men to look for innovative ways to serve. She had no time for complacency, stale thinking or laziness. And she and her teams always carefully assessed their performance to look for opportunities to improve processes and technology.

Most recently “Amazing Grace’s” namesake, USS Hopper (DDG 70) – one of our ten homeported ships at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – returned to Hawaii after a successful deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf. Hopper was deployed 12 of the past 18 months.

Team Hopper proved their ability to keep the peace through their forward presence, but always ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat at sea if necessary. Hopper is among our ships adapting to the emerging security environment in the Indo-Pacific and ready to operate in a growingly complex, transforming world.

On their deployment, Sailors aboard Hopper proved their skills and abilities working with the America Amphibious Ready Group, United States Marines, and the Australian navy. They visited Bahrain, Singapore and Guam, and they built cooperative partnerships.

Hopper’s Sailors, of course, relied on state-of-the-art computers. While, today’s complex shipboard computer systems would no doubt amaze USS Hopper’s “Amazing” namesake, I suspect she would take it all in stride.

As a further testament to Rear Adm. Grace Hopper’s legacy, the U.S. Naval Academy is building Hopper Hall, to be named for the computer scientist pioneer. Hopper Hall, located between Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall, will be a modern $107-million academic facility dedicated to cyber security studies.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Oct. 21, 2016) The official party of the Hopper Hall ground breaking ceremony at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) dig out a scoop of dirt. Hopper Hall, which will house USNA's Center for Cyber Studies, is the namesake of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper who is often referred to as 'The Mother of Computing'. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Jones/Released)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Oct. 21, 2016) The official party of the Hopper Hall ground breaking ceremony at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) dig out a scoop of dirt. Hopper Hall, which will house USNA’s Center for Cyber Studies, is the namesake of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper who is often referred to as ‘The Mother of Computing’. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Jones/Released)

 

The facility is expected to be completed by early 2020, appropriately at the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote. According to the Naval Academy this will be the first building at any of the three major service academies to be named after a woman.

By the way, the Naval Academy is also teaching courses along both ends of the exploration spectrum: from futuristic and innovative cyber security – including a major in cyber operations – to ancient celestial navigation as practiced by the Polynesian Voyaging Society aboard Hokule‘a.

Putting it all together, USS Hopper returned from her recent deployment just in time to be part of the aloha whistle welcome for the arrival of Hokule‘a Feb. 10. As the voyaging canoe entered Pearl Harbor, she also sailed past memorials including USS Arizona, USS Nevada, USS Utah and the Battleship Missouri – symbols of how our Navy helped transform our world, bringing freedom and democracy to Japan and other nations who are now allies, a transformation Grace Hopper was part of. That transformation gave greater rights and equality to women in the decades that followed, especially in our Navy.

During Hokule‘a’s week at JBPHH in February, women and men of the Polynesian Voyaging Society provided hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics education for 2,000 students and other visitors.

Just like Rear Adm. Grace Hopper – innovative, transformational and inspirational.

PEARL HARBOR (Feb. 10, 2018) The traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hokule‘a, renders honors as it passes by the USS Arizona Memorial during its first-ever visit to the waters of Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Troutman/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Feb. 10, 2018) The traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hokule‘a, renders honors as it passes by the USS Arizona Memorial during its first-ever visit to the waters of Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Troutman/Released)

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/03/14/hopper-innovation-transformation-inspiration/ U.S. Navy

Remembering to Look Forward: Rising to the challenge in Pearl Harbor

By Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Winston Churchill, who was a World War I warfighter and World War II Prime Minister of Britain, famously said, “The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward.”

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is an opportunity for the world’s citizens, especially those of us in the United States and Japan, to remember key lessons of the past and reflect on the meaning of the Second World War.

Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island, Dec. 7, 1941. (U.S. Navy video/Released)
Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island, Dec. 7, 1941. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

 

Seventy-six years ago, under Western sanctions for having invaded Manchuria and Southeast Asia, Imperial Japan miscalculated and attacked Oahu. Veterans who were around then said they knew war was inevitable. War was already underway in Europe, as Churchill tried to stave off Hitler and the Nazis. When Japanese planes destroyed our battleships in Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, we rose to the challenge to fight fascism, both here in the Pacific and in Europe.

On the home-front, families also rose to challenges and confronted new realities. Women joined the workforce in nontraditional occupations. The armed forces became more diversified. Our nation came together in the name of freedom.

SOLOMON ISLANDS (Aug. 9, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) transits to the site of the wreckage of the World War II Royal Australian Navy heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (DD 33) near Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Barry participated in a memorial ceremony held for Canberra, which was sunk on Aug. 9, 1942. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Wesley Timm/Released)
SOLOMON ISLANDS (Aug. 9, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) transits to the site of the wreckage of the World War II Royal Australian Navy heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (DD 33) near Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Barry participated in a memorial ceremony held for Canberra, which was sunk on Aug. 9, 1942. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Wesley Timm/Released)

In the first year after the attack here in the Pacific, despite some initial setbacks, our aviators literally rose up in the Battle of Coral Sea and Battle of Midway. Submarines and surface forces took the fight to the enemy like never before. We continued to turn the tide in the Battle of Guadalcanal 75 years ago.

Just as our military would descend throughout Europe to fight fascism, our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen would rise from the South Pacific and move steadily up the island chain toward the Japanese archipelago. Even back then, we were “ready to fight tonight.”

Today, America’s relationship with the people of Japan is a model for good citizenry and good relationships everywhere. Britain, France and Germany, once mortal enemies, in some cases over centuries, are now strong democracies, friends and allies in Europe.

Our Navy trains and operates with the Japan Self-Defense Force and other navies throughout the world, including here in Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise. The world, with just a few outliers, values security, prosperity and stability. History shows democracies, in general, work together to foster peace and cooperation.

Churchill encouraged us to look deep into the past to study history and understand how we can look forward. On this Dec. 7, we will once again remember and honor those who were killed 76 years ago and in the war that followed. At the same time, we will commemorate the reconciliation, security, stability and prosperity our veterans and their families achieved, beginning here at Pearl Harbor.

PEARL HARBOR (July 8, 2014) A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier, left, New Zealand army soldier and a U.S. Navy Sailor aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA5) render honors while passing the USS Arizona Memorial while departing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 was the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Amanda Chavez/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (July 8, 2014) A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier, left, New Zealand army soldier and a U.S. Navy Sailor aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA5) render honors while passing the USS Arizona Memorial while departing Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 was the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Amanda Chavez/Released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/12/04/remembering-to-look-forward-rising-to-the-challenge-in-pearl-harbor/ U.S. Navy

Veterans Day Salute to a Navy Chief and His Ship

Chief Watertender Peter Tōmich
Chief Watertender Peter Tōmich

By Rear Adm. Brian Fort
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

This is a true tale of a Navy chief and his ship – and how one individual can inspire generations of veterans, including all of us who serve today.

One year before World War I began in Sarajevo in 1914, a young Croatian man who lived just three hours away from Sarajevo, left to find a better life – as an immigrant to the United States.

His name was Petre Herceg-Tonic, but when he landed on American shores he became Peter Tōmich.

One hundred years ago, in 1917 when the United States entered the First World War, Peter joined the Army. He served honorably, earned his citizenship and, when his enlistment in the Army ended, he enlisted in the Navy to become an engineer.

At the same time as Tōmich served in the Army 100 years ago, a relatively young battleship named for our 45th state, USS Utah (BB 31), was also serving in WWI. Utah was the flagship for U.S. Battleship Division 6, forward-deployed to Europe and stationed in Bantry Bay, Ireland.

Later, after Utah’s 20 years of combatant service, the Navy converted and re-designated the proud coal-burning battleship into a demilitarized target ship – AG-16. Utah’s deck was outfitted with 12-inch wide, six-inch thick timbers to absorb practice bombing runs. No longer a warfighter, Utah nevertheless had a vital role – training aviators and the fleet.

USS Utah (AG-16) circa 1940 after being fitted with 5/25 guns forward and amidships for gunnery training service. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
USS Utah (AG-16) circa 1940 after being fitted with 5/25 guns forward and amidships for gunnery training service. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Utah’s crew would keep the ship in operating condition, conduct drills and rush below decks for safety before each practice run.

The chief water tender for Utah in 1941 was Chief Peter Tōmich.

At 7:55 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941, Utah was moored on the west side of Ford Island, where an aircraft carrier normally berthed.

Imperial Japanese planes attacked and strafed the ships in the harbor, including Utah, firing torpedoes as they approached.

Within minutes of the attack, two underwater hits ripped into Utah’s port side and it immediately listed 15 degrees to port. Five minutes later, the ship was listing 40 degrees. The huge timbers shifted and crushed Sailors trying to escape.

PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 7, 1941) USS Utah (AG-16) capsizes off Ford Island during the attack on Pearl Harbor after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 7, 1941) USS Utah (AG-16) capsizes off Ford Island during the attack on Pearl Harbor after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Meanwhile, Tōmich headed below decks as the crew turned to make their way topside. Tōmich knew he had to stabilize and secure the boilers before they exploded into a massive inferno that could certainly kill hundreds of his shipmates still escaping the ship or swimming to safety nearby.

He gave his life to save others.

That was 75 years ago last December. World War II veterans carried the memory of Pearl Harbor, Tōmich and others like him into battle. These veterans created a more peaceful world both in the Pacific and in Europe.

Croatia, Tōmich’s original homeland, became a friend and ally of the United States in 1992. Today, people throughout the world visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor aboard 150-passenger white boats named after Medal of Honor recipients. One of those boats is named TB39-6 Peter Tōmich.

In tribute to his heroism, the Navy launched a destroyer escort named USS Tōmich in December 1942 and the ship carried Tōmich’s Medal of Honor. Today, the original Medal of Honor is currently held at the Naval History and Heritage Command Curator Branch Artifact Collection. A replica is on display at the Senior Enlisted Academy.

In 2006 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the Navy also presented the medal in Tōmich’s name to his Croatian family descendants. Adm. Harry Ulrich, then commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, made the presentation.

SPLIT, Croatia (May 18, 2006) Adm. Harry Ulrich, then commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, presents the Medal of Honor to retired Croation Army Lt. Col. Srecko Herceg on behalf of U.S. Navy Chief Watertender Peter Tōmich on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Milosz Reterski/Released)
SPLIT, Croatia (May 18, 2006) Adm. Harry Ulrich, then commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, presents the Medal of Honor to retired Croation Army Lt. Col. Srecko Herceg on behalf of U.S. Navy Chief Watertender Peter Tōmich on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Milosz Reterski/Released)

“For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, and extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety, during the attack on the fleet in Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Although realizing that the ship was capsizing, as a result of enemy bombing and torpedoing, Tōmich remained at his post in the engineering plant of the USS Utah, until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing lost his own life.”

During the ceremony Ulrich said, “It would be unfair to ask you to do what Peter Tōmich did… It would be fair to ask you to be ready to do what Peter Tōmich did.”

This month on Veterans Day, we remember veterans who serve and who have served our nation. And like Chief Peter Tōmich, we should all ask ourselves, are we ready to fight tonight and are we making a difference?

Next month, Navy Region Hawaii will help host the commemoration for the 76th anniversary of the attack on Oahu and we’ll have a special ceremony, as usual, at the USS Utah Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

We will honor our veterans. We will remember Pearl Harbor. And we will reflect on the legacy of a Navy chief and his ship.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/11/09/veterans-day-salute-to-a-navy-chief-and-his-ship/ U.S. Navy

Dorie Miller’s Legacy: Inspiration for all U.S. Navy Sailors and all Americans

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

The story of Dorie Miller is inspiring for all Sailors and all Americans.

In honor of African American History Month, let’s consider what his legacy means for all of us.

Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller
Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller

Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller was ready, willing and able Dec. 7, 1941. He literally took matters into his own hands to protect his ship and his shipmates when he – on his own volition – took control of a machine gun aboard USS West Virginia (BB 48) and returned fire during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prior to and even during World War II, mess attendants were relegated to laundry detail, cooking meals, swabbing the deck and shining officers’ shoes.

And, while the support functions the mess attendants provided then – and by extension the things our culinary specialists do today – have mission impacts, “messmen” were not allowed to be direct warfighters. In a fight, they carried ammunition and they carried the wounded to medical care.

They also carried the weight of discrimination and segregation – separate and unequal.

Adm. Chester Nimitz presents Dorie Miller with the Navy Cross on May 27, 1942, aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for Miller’s valor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Adm. Chester Nimitz presents Dorie Miller with the Navy Cross on May 27, 1942, aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for Miller’s valor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)

Adm. Chester Nimitz personally presented Miller with the Navy Cross May 27, 1942 aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for his valor Dec. 7, 1941.

Then, like most Pearl Harbor survivors, Miller took the fight from Hawaii and across the Pacific.

Miller was aboard USS Liscome Bay (CVE 56) in November 1943 during the Battle of Makin Island when an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine sank his ship. Miller was among the 646 Sailors killed when Liscome Bay went down.

In addition to the Navy Cross and other medals and awards, the Navy honored Doris “Dorie” Miller in 1973 by commissioning a Knox-class frigate, named USS Miller (FF 1091) after him.

On Oct. 11, 1991, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority dedicated a bronze commemoration plaque in a military housing community near Pearl Harbor that is also his namesake – Doris Miller Housing.

Miller became a poster-hero in the earliest days of the civil rights movement.

He became a symbol of the notion that we should expect the exceptional if talented individuals have an equal opportunity or level playing field.

Miller fought for the ideals that our founders so eloquently described in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution, ideals that are meant for every American.

The United States military – and our society – have made great strides since President Truman desegregated the military; since Brown v. Board of Education; and since Presidents Kennedy and Johnson (both former U.S. Navy officers and World War II veterans) fought for and achieved the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Today, as we contemplate Miller’s bravery over 75 years ago and his sacrifice for our freedom, let’s consider the gift he and other World War II Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines gave us.

We have peace and freedom for ourselves, and our families because of their sacrifice and we must protect that gift.

Think about it: Dorie Miller and other young service members killed in World War II never had a chance to have their own family. We, however, have the privilege to honor their memory.

Since 1945 millions of American families have lived, loved and thrived thanks to the sacrifices warfighters like Miller made during World War II. Here in Hawaii, hundreds of families since 1991 have called the Doris Miller Housing community “home.”

Like Miller and his shipmates, we who wear the cloth of our nation are ready, willing and able to run toward danger to defend our homeland and our values.

Related Content

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

As part of the 75th commemoration of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu, Petty Officer 2nd Class Freddie White shared how Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller’s toughness, accountability, integrity and initiative have influenced him.

Profiles in Leadership

To achieve optimal mission readiness, we provide every U.S. Navy Sailor and civilian with equal access to the tools and resources they need to succeed. Rear Adm. Fuller shares why his entire goal is to let his work and the content of his character speak for itself.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/02/21/dorie-millers-legacy-inspiration-for-all-u-s-navy-sailors-and-all-americans/ U.S. Navy

Pearl Harbor Survivors Changed the World

Dec. 7, 2016, is the 75th anniversary of Imperial Japan’s attack on Oahu that launched the United States into World War II. Rear Adm. John Fuller speaks to nearly two hundred veterans of that war, including several dozen Pearl Harbor survivors, at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at Kilo Pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial. Here is his message to survivors and other veterans:

PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 7, 2015) Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, speaks with Pearl Harbor survivor Ed Schuler during a wreath dedication ceremony in remembrance of the 74th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks aboard the USS Arizona Memorial, Dec. 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 7, 2015) Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, speaks with Pearl Harbor survivor Ed Schuler during a wreath dedication ceremony in remembrance of the 74th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks aboard the USS Arizona Memorial, Dec. 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman/Released)

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

To our most-honored guests – Pearl Harbor survivors and other World War II veterans – thank you for honoring us with your participation in today’s remembrance ceremony.

We are holding today’s events for you. Our objective and theme is: “Honoring the past, Inspiring the future.”

We remember your lost shipmates.

We salute your service and your families’ service.

We offer our most heartfelt thanks – for all you sacrificed and suffered.

Most of you veterans were teenagers or in your early twenties – and away from home for the first time.

Back home, your families longed to hear the news about the attack. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, loved ones – all desperate to know the fate of their boys.

USS Arizona (BB 39) ablaze, immediately following the explosion of her forward magazines, Dec. 7, 1941. Frame clipped from a color motion picture taken from on board USS Solace (AH 5). (Official U.S. Navy photograph/Released)
USS Arizona (BB 39) ablaze, immediately following the explosion of her forward magazines, Dec. 7, 1941. Frame clipped from a color motion picture taken from on board USS Solace (AH 5). (Official U.S. Navy photograph/Released)

Meanwhile, you – the Pearl Harbor survivors – faced the grueling recovery and restoration.

Joined by Navy divers, civilian shipyard workers and citizens of Hawaii you responded, you rebuilt and you resurrected Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Fleet.

You felt the shock, the grief and then the need to bring the world back in balance.

In the days after the attack facts and information crawled along but rumors raced at light-speed.

It would take weeks to get detailed news to your families. And in some cases it took months.

People stood in endless lines at Western Union in Honolulu. On the mainland, families waited at home and wondered.

Some mothers and fathers received the worst-possible news – the news they dreaded.

Family,
Ohana,
Kazoku…

Family is our most precious institution and most precious possession.

Yet in war, innocent families are always victims.

Historian Ken Burns chronicled the Second World War – both in Europe and here in the Pacific. He called that war “the greatest cataclysm in history.”

It “grew out of ancient and ordinary human emotions – anger and arrogance and bigotry, victimhood and the lust for power. And it ended because other human qualities – courage and perseverance and selflessness, faith, leadership and the hunger for freedom – combined … to change the course of human events.”

HONOLULU (Dec. 3, 2016) Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Charping, of Charlotte, N.C., assigned to Navy Information Operation Command (NIOC), gets a hug from a World War II veteran arriving at Honolulu International Airport. More than 100 World War II veterans, including Pearl Harbor survivors, arrived in Honolulu to participate in the remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served during Dec. 7, 1941, and throughout the Pacific Theater. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)
HONOLULU (Dec. 3, 2016) Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Charping, of Charlotte, N.C., assigned to Navy Information Operation Command (NIOC), gets a hug from a World War II veteran arriving at Honolulu International Airport. More than 100 World War II veterans, including Pearl Harbor survivors, arrived in Honolulu to participate in the remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served during Dec. 7, 1941, and throughout the Pacific Theater. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)

Those who served in World War II, you earned the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today. You delivered that legacy with your toughness and grit and because of your honor, courage and commitment.

Those of you who served in World War II ushered in the current era of peace and prosperity that we have enjoyed for decades – with your blood, sweat and tears.

You re-created a world dedicated to order, justice and stability.

You preserved freedom.

You built reconciliation.

You created greater equality and civil rights.

And you earned our commitment to forever “Remember Pearl Harbor.”

Your lives changed on the morning of December 7, 1941.

After that day you would change the world forever.

As a humble beneficiary, I simply want to offer a sincere and heartfelt – thank you.

Graphic of a World War II veteran and a U.S. Navy Sailor saluting

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/12/07/pearl-harbor-survivors-changed-the-world/ U.S. Navy

December 7th, 1941: A Submarine Force Perspective

By Rear Adm. Fritz Roegge
Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet

“When I assumed command of the Pacific Fleet on 31 December 1941, our submarines were already operating against the enemy, the only units of the fleet that could come to grips with the Japanese for months to come. It was to the submarine force that I looked to carry the load. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of great peril.”
Admiral Chester Nimitz
Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (and also a submarine officer)

PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 6, 2016) Rear Adm. Fredrick "Fritz" Roegge, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, greets a Pearl Harbor survivor during the unveiling of a new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael H. Lee/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 6, 2016) Rear Adm. Fredrick “Fritz” Roegge, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, greets a Pearl Harbor survivor during the unveiling of a new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael H. Lee/Released)

This week, America remembers the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This remembrance is particularly meaningful to the U.S. Navy, and even more to Sailors serving at Pearl Harbor. But it should have the greatest significance to the Submarine Force, because it was our contributions to the Second World War that suggest that December 7th, 1941, was actually the day that Imperial Japan won a battle, but lost the war.

Submariners are well-aware that World War II provided some of our greatest challenges, our greatest successes, our greatest heroes, and also our greatest sacrifices. And here in Pearl Harbor, we can stand atop the Dive Tower on the Submarine Base and actually see the most visceral reminders of the complete cycle of the war: its opening salvo, the seeds of our eventual victory, and even the war’s conclusion. That makes Pearl Harbor unique – where else in the world is there such a singular vantage point for the breadth of such a major conflict?

The Opening Salvo.

Visual reminders of the start of the war are obvious, and infamous. In the harbor lies the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors the nearly 1.200 Sailors and Marines who lost their lives onboard that fateful day. Seaward of Arizona sat the battleships that comprised Battleship Row, remembered now by a line of white caissons. These caissons remind us not only of the Sailors of those battleships, but of the sheer number of casualties: the nearly 2,400 men, women and children, both service members and civilians, who lost their lives on that “day that shall live in infamy.”

The War’s Conclusion.

Sweeping to the left of the Arizona from the Dive Tower, those caissons now bracket the most powerful symbol of the war’s conclusion: the battleship USS Missouri. Today, we can visit the very place on board that ship where in September 1945 the peace treaty was signed that ended the war. That signing ceremony marked both a beginning and an end. As an end, it meant that the war had been won. But it also marked the beginning of the equally important challenge of how to win the peace. And as a result of having won the peace, the United States of America and our former adversary of Japan are now close friends, partners and allies – committed to each other’s success, to each other’s defense, and to promoting freedom and democracy throughout the Pacific.

The Seeds of Victory.

So the USS Arizona reminds us of the start of the war, and USS Missouri reminds us of the end of the war, but the reminders of how the war was won are also visible from the Dive Tower. Although the results of December 7th were horrific, they did not prevent us from prevailing. There were three significant targets that were not struck, and the omission of the fuel farm, the shipyard and the submarine base had strategic consequence.

Aerial view of the Submarine Base (right center) with the fuel farm at left, looking south on Oct. 13, 1941. Among the 16 fuel tanks in the lower group and 10 tanks in the upper group are two that have been painted to resemble buildings (topmost tank in upper group, and rightmost tank in lower group). Other tanks appear to be painted to look like terrain features. Alongside the wharf in right center are USS Niagara (PG 52) with seven or eight PT boats alongside (nearest to camera), and USS Holland (AS 3) with seven submarines alongside. About six more submarines are at the piers at the head of the Submarine Base peninsula. (Official U.S. Navy photograph/Released)
Aerial view of the Submarine Base (right center) with the fuel farm at left, looking south on Oct. 13, 1941. Among the 16 fuel tanks in the lower group and 10 tanks in the upper group are two that have been painted to resemble buildings (topmost tank in upper group, and rightmost tank in lower group). Other tanks appear to be painted to look like terrain features. Alongside the wharf in right center are USS Niagara (PG 52) with seven or eight PT boats alongside (nearest to camera), and USS Holland (AS 3) with seven submarines alongside. About six more submarines are at the piers at the head of the Submarine Base peninsula. (Official U.S. Navy photograph/Released)

From the Dive Tower, we can see some of the many fuel tanks that supplied the fleet. Adm. Nimitz observed that had these tanks been struck, and their four million barrels of fuel lost, it would have taken two years to replenish our supply such that the fleet could prosecute the war across the vast, vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean.

From here, we can also see the dry docks and the incredible industrial capacity of the Navy’s “No Ka Oi” shipyard, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. After the attack, 12 ships including five battleships had been sunk or beached and nine ships including three more battleships had been damaged. Yet within only three months, most of the smaller ships and all three of the damaged battleships were returned to service or refloated, and all of them eventually returned to the fight in the Pacific.

Lastly, Pearl Harbor submarines and the Submarine Base weren’t struck. Within hours of the attack, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold Stark ordered, “EXECUTE AGAINST JAPAN UNRESTRICTED AIR AND SUBMARINE WARFARE;” our submarines were the only forces able to immediately begin war patrols. They carried the battle across the Pacific and into Japanese home waters while the fleet was repaired.

Our submariners did their deadly business very well. Although submarines made up only two percent of our entire Navy, they sank 30 percent of all Japanese warships, and 55 percent of all Japanese merchant ships sunk during the war. But submariners also paid the heavy price of the heaviest casualty rate of any American branch of service in the war: 52 submarines were lost, and 3,628 submariners (22% of the force) remain on eternal patrol.

The Pearl Harbor horizon has many memorials containing much history, but this important story of submarine force success and sacrifice is hard to find within the Pearl Harbor narrative already on display. Until now. Today, we begin to share that story – honoring our heroes and educating the public – with a new display located in front of the USS Bowfin Memorial, free and accessible to anyone visiting Pearl Harbor’s iconic landmarks.

PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 6, 2016) Chuck Merkel, executive director of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park (middle), and Rear Adm. Fredrick "Fritz" Roegge, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (right), unveil the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Oahu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael H. Lee/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 6, 2016) Chuck Merkel, executive director of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park (middle), and Rear Adm. Fredrick “Fritz” Roegge, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (right), unveil the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Oahu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael H. Lee/Released)

It’s important to remember though that the history of our submarine force didn’t begin on Dec. 7th, 1941; and the submarine force’s significant contributions to our nation’s security didn’t end in September 1945.   Throughout the hostile peace of the Cold War, our strategic forces proved undetectable and invulnerable to threats, while our attack submarines demonstrated the ability to hold at risk what other nations’ hold most dear. And strategic deterrence and undersea superiority are just as important to our national security today as they have been in the past.

ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 21, 2016) The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769), assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 54, transits through the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Torrey W. Lee/Released)
ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 21, 2016) The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769), assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 54, transits through the Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Torrey W. Lee/Released)

That makes this an incredibly exciting time to be a submariner, and an incredibly important time for our submarine force to maintain its undersea superiority. Our Navy and our Nation should expect no less. So although the history of our submarine force is impressive and is to be celebrated, that history is not complete. Our history is being made today, and every day, by every one of today’s submariners. Because throughout the 116-year history of the U.S. Submarine Force, the most important factor in all of our many successes and in all of our nation’s conflicts has been the submarine Sailor. It is our submarine Sailors, supported by our families, then as now, that are our greatest asset; our secret sauce; our competitive advantage. They are the envy of every would-be competitor on the high seas – or below them.

So on this Pearl Harbor Day, let us remember the debt we owe to the veterans who preceded us – veterans who have won our Nation’s wars and who have also won the peace. But perhaps their greatest legacy is their example of honor, courage and commitment that is now proudly carried forward and embodied in today’s generation of submarine veterans. This is another greatest generation; one that continues to preserve that hard-won peace. It is their service that should now give us all great confidence that Gen. MacArthur’s words delivered on board USS Missouri in 1945 should prove to be prophetic: “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always.”

First panel the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
First panel the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Second panel of the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Second panel of the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Second panel of the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine MusThird panel of the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Parkeum and Park
Third panel of the new submarine exhibit at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/12/06/december-7th-1941-a-submarine-force-perspective/ U.S. Navy

#PearlHarbor75: Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn

The 75th commemoration of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu is an opportunity for us to honor the courage, service and sacrifice of the U.S. military personnel present during the attacks.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John Finn was one of them. While under heavy machine gun fire,  Finn manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp. Painfully wounded multiple times, he had to be convinced to leave his post. After receiving first aid treatment, he overcame the severe pain of his injuries and returned to the squadron area to supervise the rearming of returning planes.

In this video, Seaman Brian Spaccarelli, an aviation ordnanceman, of shares how Medal of Honor recipient Chief Finn’s toughness, accountability, integrity and initiative has influenced him to honor the past and inspire the future.

U.S. Navy video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Johans Chavarro

Learn more about the Pearl Harbor attack.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/12/06/pearlharbor75-chief-aviation-ordnanceman-john-finn/ U.S. Navy

#PearlHarbor75: Navy divers and salvage teams

Graphic of Pearl Harbor divers and a Sailor

The 75th commemoration of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu is an opportunity for us to honor the courage, service and sacrifice of the U.S. military personnel present during the attacks.

Our Navy divers and salvage teams were among them. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Navy divers began the most immense dive and salvage operations to date. Throughout 1942 and part of 1943, Navy divers worked on salvaging destroyers, supply ships, and other badly damaged vessels.

The divers faced extraordinary dangers: poisonous gas, unexploded ordnance, as well as the unknown of the destruction that awaited them below. Through the course of the Pearl Harbor effort, Navy divers spent approximately 16,000 hours underwater, during 4,000 dives. Contract civilian divers contributed another 4,000 diving hours.

In this video, Navy diver, Petty Officer Melissa Nguyen-Alarcon, of Winthrop, Maine, shares how their toughness, accountability, integrity and initiative has influenced her.

U.S. Navy video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Johans Chavarro

Learn more about the Pearl Harbor attack.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/12/06/pearlharbor75-navy-divers-and-salvage-teams/ U.S. Navy