I was tied up on Pearl Harbor Day, so I'm late sharing this. One of my best friends Dad turned 17, graduated from High School and didn't have many prospects, so he enlisted in the Navy. After basic training he got his orders for Pearl Harbor. He had been there for about a month when the attack came. If you know many vets, they seldom talk about what they saw to family, for some reason, ever since I was a stupid kid I learned the right questions and respect to be shown and dozens of vets opened up to me.
Most people know about the chaos of the moment, few know of the aftermath. Ships were capsized trapping hundreds inside. SCUBA had not been invented, diving suits and the related hoses were attempted with the loss of many divers whose hoses tangled in the twisted iron of the wrecks.
Air moved upward in the compartments of the ships, as did men who survived. They used Morse Code to communicate through the hulls. A decision was made to cut the hulls open in order to save the trapped men. Mr. Hammond was an assistant to a welder who was the first to breach a hull, and to his horror, the force of the air escaping through the first dime sized hole cut the welder in two and body parts of the trapped men were liquefied and blown hundreds of feet in the air, covering everyone standing on the hull. As the ship sunk a little lower in the water there was complete shock about what had just happened, and it was never attempted again. The ability to right the ships was initially very limited as all that equipment had been destroyed.
One of his duties was communications with the trapped men. I won't use the right terminology, but they would tap out 6 men trapped in forward engine room or other compartments. A few days later, they would report that one had died, then 4 men trapped, 3 men trapped, and I am alone. Then there was silence. In some cases that lasted for a month. To say the attack had a major impact on a 17 year old boy is clearly an understatement. He was haunted by those thoughts until his dying day, like nearly all vets, he just found a way to navigate around the scars and continue with life the best he could.
Great meme, thanks for posting it. I wish I had been able to leave these comments on Dec. 7.