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Nakon Pearl Harbora: Utrka za spas američke flote

Nakon Pearl Harbora: Utrka za spas američke flote


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U prvih 30 minuta od njihovog iznenadnog zračnog napada na američku pomorsku bazu u Pearl Harboru, Japanci su nanijeli značajnu štetu floti masivnih američkih bojnih brodova usidrenih tamo. Do kraja napada, USS Arizona je potpuno uništena i USS Oklahoma se prevrnula, dok su teško oštećeni USS West Virginia, USS California i USS Nevada potonuli u plitkoj vodi.

Osim pet potopljenih bojnih brodova, u napadu su oštećena još tri bojna broda, tri kruzera, tri razarača i druga manja plovila, koja su također zahtijevala 180 američkih zrakoplova i nanijela oko 3.400 žrtava, uključujući više od 2.300 poginulih. Ipak, gotovo čim je razoran napad završio, počeli su napori za spašavanje američke flote i vraćanje oštećenih brodova u vodu za borbu protiv Japana i drugih sila Osovine.

Na sreću američke mornarice, vodeći brod flote, USS Pennsylvania, bio je 7. prosinca na suhom doku i pretrpio je samo površinska oštećenja. USS Tennessee i USS Maryland bili su usidreni u Zapadnoj Virginiji i Oklahomi, a također su bili uglavnom zaštićeni od napada torpedima.

Nakon što je osoblje mornaričkog dvorišta Pearl Harbor, uz pomoć natječaja i posade broda, započelo radove na oporavku oštećenih brodova, oni su se brzo nastavili. U roku od samo tri mjeseca, do veljače 1942., USS Pennsylvania, USS Maryland i USS Tennessee, zajedno s kruzerima Honolulu, Helena i Raleigh; razarači Helm i Shaw; natječaj hidroaviona Curtiss; popravni brod Vestal i plutajući suhi pristanište YFD-2 ponovno su bili u upotrebi ili su ponovno premješteni i transportirani parom do kopna Sjedinjenih Država radi konačnih popravaka. Najviše oštećeni mali brodovi, Raleigh i Shaw, vraćeni su na aktivnu dužnost do sredine 1942. godine.

Što se tiče ostatka flote, bilo je jasno da je pet drugih bojnih brodova, dva razarača, ciljni brod i minobacač pretrpjelo ozbiljnija oštećenja, te da će zahtijevati opsežne radove samo kako bi se doveli do mjesta gdje se mogu izvršiti popravci. Tjedan dana nakon napada, službeno je osnovana spasilačka organizacija koja će raditi na tim teže oštećenim plovilima. Predvođena kapetanom Homerom N. Wallinom, koji je prethodno bio član stožera borbenih snaga, divizija za spašavanje postigla je jedan od svojih najvećih trijumfa kada je u veljači 1942. godine premjestila USS Nevadu.

S jednom velikom i mnogo malih rupa izbušenih u trupu, USS Nevada potonuo je u plitkoj vodi, što je spašavanje omogućilo, ali nije jednostavno. Mornarički i civilni ronioci napravili su oko 400 ronjenja i proveli oko 1.500 sati radeći samo na Nevadi, a dva su čovjeka izgubila život nakon udisanja otrovnih plinova nakupljenih u unutrašnjosti broda. Nakon što je premješten, popravljen i isparen u Puget Sound Navy Yard u državi Washington radi trajnijih popravaka, Nevada se krajem 1942. ponovno pridružila aktivnoj američkoj floti.

Spasioci su također izmjestili USS California u ožujku 1942., USS West Virginia u lipnju i minobacač Oglala do srpnja. Nakon opsežnih popravaka, ova su se plovila također pridružila floti. Tri druga teško oštećena broda - Oklahoma, Arizona i prevrnuti ciljni brod Utah - neće se vratiti u službu. USS Arizona, koja je uništena nakon eksplozije oklopne bombe koja je izazvala požar u njenim prednjim glavnim časopisima, ostaje na podu luke i danas, služeći kao spomen na izgubljene 7. prosinca 1941. godine. USS Utah također ostaje u luci. Veliki napori podigli su Oklahomu, ali je brod na kraju bio previše oštećen da bi se vratio u službu.

Pomorsko istraživanje zaključilo je da se čini da su USS Oklahoma i USS Nevada izgubljeni zbog nedostataka u dizajnu, dok USS West Virginia nije imala odgovarajuću obranu da izdrži takav napad. U slučaju USS California, kasnija istraga otkrila je da su brojni poklopci šahtova bili ostavljeni ili olabavljeni u vrijeme napada, te da na brodu nije bilo dovoljno pumpi da se spriječi širenje i potonuće plovila.

Kliknite ovdje za gledanje cijele epizode o Pearl Harboru i više iz Drugoga svjetskog rata u HD -u na History Vault -u

Prema računu Zapovjedništva pomorske povijesti i naslijeđa, mornarička i civilna ronilačka vozila provela su ukupno oko 20.000 sati pod vodom tijekom operacija spašavanja, što je učinilo oko 5.000 zarona. Većinu vremena ronioci su morali nositi plinske maske kako bi izbjegli otrovne pare s brodova zaprljanih naftom. Uz čišćenje, spašavanje i popravak brodova, njihov rad uključivao je i pronalaženje ljudskih ostataka, dokumenata i streljiva.

U početku su Japanci vjerovali da su postigli ključnu pobjedu 7. prosinca 1941. No, zahvaljujući herojskim naporima spašavanja, velika većina američkih bojnih brodova i drugih plovila napadnutih u Pearl Harboru preživjet će kako bi zauzela osovinu u Drugom svjetskom ratu . Na dan D u lipnju 1944., USS Nevada nanio je veliku granatiranu štetu njemačkim naseljima iza plaža Normandije u Francuskoj. Kasnije 1944., tijekom američke invazije na Filipine, USS West Virginia, USS California, USS Tennessee, USS Maryland i USS Pennsylvania - svi navodno "izgubljeni" u Pearl Harboru - pridružili su se USS Mississippiju u bombardiranju približavajući se japanskim pomorskim snagama u tjesnacu Surigao.


Provjera činjenica: Nakon Pearl Harbora, Japanci nisu napali SAD jer su se bojali naoružanih građana?

Jesu li se Japanci nakon Pearl Harbora suzdržali od invazije na kopno Sjedinjenih Država jer su se bojali da u gotovo svakom domu ima Amerikanaca koji razumiju oružje?

To je rsquos tvrdnja o objavi od 20 odlomaka na Facebooku koja je podijeljena više od 21.000 puta.

Objava tvrdi da je Amerika sigurna od invazije zbog lovaca koji posjeduju oružje. Svoju povijesnu tvrdnju započinje riječima:

& quotNakon što su Japanci 7. prosinca 1941. desetkovali našu flotu u Pearl Harboru, mogli su poslati svoje trupe i nosače izravno u Kaliforniju kako bi dovršili započeto. Predviđanje našeg načelnika stožera bilo je da nećemo moći zaustaviti masovnu invaziju sve dok ne stignu do rijeke Mississippi. Sjećate se, imali smo vojsku i ratne brodove od 2 milijuna ljudi na drugim mjestima, pa zašto oni nisu izvršili invaziju? Nakon rata, preostali japanski generali i admirali postavljeni su na to pitanje. Njihov odgovor. znaju da je gotovo svaki dom imao oružje i da su ga Amerikanci znali koristiti. & quot

Ovaj je post označen kao dio napora Facebook -a i rsquosa u borbi protiv lažnih vijesti i dezinformacija na svom News Feedu. (Pročitajte više o našem partnerstvu s Facebookom.)

To & rsquos nije nova tvrdnja. U videu objavljenom 2012. godine Ed Emery, republikanski državni senator iz Missourija, tvrdio je da je poznato da Japan nisu odvratile oružane službe Amerike i rsquosa, već zato što je & quotevery American bio naoružan. & Quot

Četiri stručnjaka su nam rekla da nema dokaza da je Japan ikada ozbiljno razmišljao o takvoj invaziji i da su razlozi bili vojna ograničenja, a ne Amerikanci naoružani lovačkim oružjem.


Kako su se bojni brodovi američke mornarice vratili iz mrtvih u Pearl Harboru

Amerika bi se oporavila od šokantnog napada, a šest mjeseci kasnije okrenula bi se.

Ključna stvar: Brzom akcijom spašeni su neki brodovi. Zapravo, pomoglo je ublažiti katastrofu iznenadnog napada.

Katastrofa u Pearl Harboru postavila je američku mornaricu otrežnjujućim pitanjem: kako se oporaviti? Umrlo je više od 2000 ljudi. Gotovo upola manje je ranjeno. Osamnaest brodova je oštećeno ili potopljeno.

"... Nijedan od potopljenih brodova se više nikada ne bi borio."

Ovo se prvi put pojavilo ranije i ponovno se objavljuje zbog interesa čitatelja.

“Prizor pridošlice je doista bio slutnja. U čitavom je području Pearl Harbora postojao opći osjećaj depresije kad su ga vidjeli i čvrsto vjerovali da se nijedan potopljeni brod više nikada neće boriti. ” Bio je to užasan osjećaj kapetana Homera Wallina, čovjeka koji će voditi spasilačke akcije.

Admiral Chester Nimitz, imenovan vrhovnim zapovjednikom Pacifičke flote (CINCPAC) danima nakon napada, odletio je na Havaje kako bi preuzeo zapovjedništvo. Na Božić je sletio u Pearl Harbor. Njegovi su ga sastanci pripremili, barem je tako mislio. Zadivljen, primijetio je: "Strašno je vidjeti sve ove brodove srušene." Svečanost ugradnje Nimitza kao CINCPAC -a održana je na palubi Lipljen, podmornica kojom je nekoć zapovijedao. Cinici su komentirali da je to jedina paluba prikladna za ceremoniju.

Dani brodske mornarice su prošli. Japanci su to ponovno istaknuli 10. prosinca potonuvši britanski bojni brod Princ od Walesa i bojni krstaš Odbiti kod Singapura. Nimitzovi nosači aviona sada su bili srce njegove strategije. Ipak, uz odgovarajuću pratnju, bojni brodovi bi i dalje mogli biti učinkovito oružje. Kad bi ih se moglo spasiti, Nimitz bi im dao posao.

Ne troši se vrijeme na napore spašavanja

Napori spašavanja započeli su 7. prosinca kada su posade napunile crijeva za gašenje požara dok je napad još bio u tijeku. Tim vatrogascima pomagali su čamci, tegljači, pa čak i transporter smeća. Ljudi iz bazičnih snaga flote donijeli su pumpe za borbu protiv poplava. Spasilački timovi tražili su mornare zarobljene u prevrnutim bojnim brodovima Oklahoma i Utah.

Dana 9. siječnja 1942. kapetan Wallin preuzeo je dužnost divizije za spašavanje, koja je i sama nova grana mornaričkog dvorišta. Homer Wallin, rodom iz Washburna, ND, proveo je pola svog života za to. Kao i mnogi ljudi odgajani daleko od mora, tražio je pomorsku karijeru. Otišao je na američku pomorsku akademiju 1913. godine, a zatim je služio na bojnom brodu New Jersey tijekom Prvog svjetskog rata pridružio se Mornaričkom građevinskom korpusu 1918. godine, a studirao je pomorsku arhitekturu na Tehnološkom institutu u Massachusettsu. Nakon što je magistrirao 1921. godine, sljedećih 20 godina proveo je u mornaricama New York, Philadelphia i Mare Island, kao i u Zavodu za izgradnju i popravke u Washingtonu, DC.

Spašavanje Triaža

Wallinova divizija za spašavanje imala je tri jasna cilja: spasiti ljude zarobljene na brodovima, procijeniti štetu na svakom brodu i popraviti što je više moguće. Zadatak je bio popraviti svaki dovoljno kako bi mogli otputovati u veća dvorišta na Zapadnoj obali radi potpune obnove.

Japanci će požaliti što su dva vitalna područja luke ostavili netaknutima. Prva je bila opskrba flote gorivom - preko 4,5 milijuna litara. Drugi je bio Mornaričko dvorište, čije su trgovine imale veliki kapacitet popraviti ili izgraditi gotovo sve. "Gradili su čamce za slobodu, motorne kitolovce od 25 stopa, bilo koju vrstu lučkih plovila", prisjetio se Walter Bayer. “Mogli bi preraditi pištolj od 14 ili 16 inča. Samo ih povucite na tim velikim dizalicama i rukujte njima kao da su čačkalice u tim velikim zgradama. Bile su to ogromne zgrade. Još uvijek jesu. ”

Bayer je odrastao na havajskom otoku Kauai. Godine 1940. postao je namještenik u državnoj službi i otišao je raditi u tvornicu komprimiranih plinova u Mornaričkom dvorištu. Bio je pomoćnik nadzornika do prosinca 1941. Nakon napada potražnja za njegovim uslugama je narasla. “Kad su se organizirali presjeći dno Oklahoma- imala je dvostruki trup - zavarivači su došli k nama po acetilen i kisik za svoje baklje za rezanje. I koristili bi ga kao vodu. To bi jednostavno prošlo u trenu. ”

Admiral bez zastave, brodski zapovjednik

Novi zapovjednik dvorišta bio je admiral William Furlong. On i Nimitz bili su u istom razredu u Annapolisu. Do 25. prosinca 1941. Furlong je bio zapovjednik Minecraft -a, borbene sile. Njegov perjanica, rudnički sloj Oglala, potonuo je s glavnog mola dvorišta, pristaništa 1010. Furlong je Wallinu dao sve što mu je potrebno: osoblje, opremu i radni prostor na obali. S flotom malih plovila koja lutaju lukom, Wallin je mogao slati ljude i strojeve kamo god su mu zatrebali. Imao je stručnjake za uklanjanje streljiva i municije. Dao je ronioce obučene za rad u potopljenim brodovima. Osim toga, imao je tvrtku Pacific Bridge, čiji su ljudi ugovoreni za izgradnju mornaričkih postrojenja diljem Pacifika.

Jedan mornarički ronilac bio je Metalsmith prve klase Edward Raymer. Pridružio se službi kako bi pobjegao od mirnog života u Riversideu u Kaliforniji. 1940. trenirao je u školi ronjenja u San Diegu. Njegova radna odjeća bila je gumirani kombinezon s rukavicama, olovni kaiš (84 kilograma), olovne cipele (po 36 kilograma svaka) i bakar Kormilaritiet pričvršćen na naprsnik. Iznad vode odijelo je bilo neugodno. Potopljeni, utezi su se suprotstavili uzgonu odijela, dopuštajući roniocu da se kreće prilično lako. Crijevo za zrak je otišlo iz Kormilaritiet do kompresora koji nadziru muškarci na površini. Ronilac je pažljivo premještao crijevo sa sobom dok je radio unutar potonulih brodova. Često je radio u potpunom mraku. Uzeo je upute s površine putem telefonskog kabela i bilo mu je potrebno pojačano osjetilo dodira i ravnoteže za rad s gorionicima za zavarivanje i usisnim crijevima.

"Dobrodošli u jedinicu za spašavanje."

8. prosinca 1941. Raymerov tim odletio je u Pearl. "Dobro došli u jedinicu za spašavanje", rekao im je umorni policajac. "Bit ćete pridruženi ovoj naredbi na privremenoj dodatnoj dužnosti, koja možda nije privremena od količine ronilačkog posla koji vidite pred sobom."

Prvi zadatak tima bio je utvrditi jesu li muškarci zarobljeni ispod razine vode u bojnom brodu Nevada. “Da bismo to postigli,” sjetio se Raymer, “spustili smo ronioca sa sampana na dubinu od 20 stopa. Zamahnuvši čekićem od pet funti, tri puta je lupio po trupu, a zatim je stao i osluškivao tražeći signal javljanja. Satima smo se izmjenjivali. Nikada se nije čuo nikakav signal za odgovor. ” Koliko god ovo bilo frustrirajuće, druge su tražilice uspješno oslobodile ljude iz Oklahoma i Utah. Posljednji od njih izvedeni su do 10. prosinca.

"Manje oštećen" bio je izraz koji se primjenjivao na stanje bojnih brodova Pennsylvania, Maryland,i Tennessee kruzeri Honolulu, Helena, i Raleigh brod za popravak Vestalka natječaj hidroaviona Curtiss i razarač Kormilariti.

USS Pennsylvania Vraćen na dužnost

Pennsylvania bio u suhom pristaništu broj jedan tijekom napada, iza razarača Downes i Cassin. Jedna bomba pogodila je bojni brod, oštetivši pištolj od 5 inča i prošavši kroz dvije palube prije nego što je eksplodirala. Od eksplozije su uništene pregrade, otvori, cijevi i ožičenje. Njezin su trup i elektrana ipak bili zdravi. 12. prosinca otišla je u Mornaričko dvorište. Oštećeni pištolj zamijenjen je onom iz Zapadne Virginije, čije su palube bile nasute nakon što se smjestila u blato na dnu Battleship Rowa, žrtve nekoliko japanskih torpeda. Dana 20. prosinca, Pennsylvania otplovio za Puget Sound, Wash.

Bomba je pogodila pristanište pokraj Honolulu. Eksplozija se savila u 40 stopa trupa sa strane luke, uzrokujući oštećenja gelera i poplavu. Radnici u dvorištu počeli su krpati trup Honolulua posada je radila unutar.

S njima je bio i pomorac prve klase Stephen Young iz Methuena, Mass. Young koji se upravo preselio iz Oklahoma. Izdržao je 25 sati zarobljenih u bojnom brodu. Nakon što je to preživio, bio je impresioniran svojim novim poslom, koji je pomogao ukloniti oštećene kutije s prahom iz časopisa kruzera. Šrapnel je probio mnoge od njih, prosuvši eksplozivni prah po palubama. "Zašto nikada nisu otišli, ne znam", prisjetio se Young.

USS Honolulu i Helena Next Up

Honolulu preselila se u Dry Dock Number One 13. prosinca. 2. siječnja otišla je u dvorište radi daljnjih poslova. Deset dana kasnije vratila se u službu.

USS Helena uzela torpedo sa svoje desne strane, poplavivši strojarnicu i kotlovnicu. 10. prosinca ušla je u Dry Dock Number Two koji je još bio u izgradnji. Osoblje Pacific Bridgea posudilo je drvene blokove iz dvorišta na kojima je brod mogao počivati. Nakon 11 dana preselila se u dvorište. Dana 5. siječnja, Helena krenuo prema mornaričkom dvorištu otoka Mare u San Franciscu.

Maryland bio privezan unutar Oklahoma i pobjegao iz torpeda, ali jedna je bomba pogodila njezinu prednju ploču. Drugi je pogodio njezinu lučku stranu na razini vode. Nije bilo suho pristanište, pa su popravci obavljeni na kejevima. U dvorišnim radionicama izgrađene su drvene i metalne zakrpe za pucanje trupa. Dizalica na šlepu spustila je zakrpu u vodu, a ronioci su je postavili na mjesto. Voda je ispumpana, a popravci su se nastavili unutar broda. 20. prosinca otišla je u Puget Sound. Njezin posljednji popravak okončan je tamo 26. veljače 1942. godine.


  • Ovo je 13 brodova američke mornarice koji su popravljeni nakon napada na Pearl Harbor i vraćeni u službu
  • Devet bojnih brodova u luci bili su glavna meta japanskih borbenih pilota 7. prosinca 1941. godine
  • Dvije su se smatrale potpunim gubitkom, ali su ostale popravljene i nastavile su voditi više bitki u ratu

Objavljeno: 19:50 BST, 8. prosinca 2016. | Ažurirano: 13:21 BST, 9. prosinca 2016

Nakon iznenadnog napada koji je naterao Amerikance diljem zemlje, heroji Pearl Harbora nisu imali vremena sjediti i prihvatiti što se događa.

Umjesto toga, bacili su se na popravak desetaka brodova koji su sjedili patke za japansku zračnu flotu.

Najveće mete za Japance bilo je devet bojnih brodova američke mornarice. Dok su se tri bojna broda smatrala potpunim izgubljenim (USS Oklahoma, USS Utah i USS Arizona - koji se i dalje nalazi na dnu luke), ostali su uskrsnuli i bačeni na posao pobjeđujući u ratu.

Pomaknite se dolje da vidite 13 brodova koji su popravljeni nakon napada na Pearl Harbor i kako su doprinijeli ratnim naporima nakon njihovog uskrsnuća.

USS West Virginia, bojni brod

Oštećenja tijekom Pearl Harbora: Sedam japanskih torpeda sa strane luke, pogođena dvjema bombama, zapalila se iz zapaljenog USS Arizona i potonula na morsko dno

Popravci: Ispumpani su bez vode i zakrpljeni kako bi se mogli poslati u Washington's Puget Sound Naval Yard radi potpunih popravaka

Vraćen u službu: srpanj 1944

Služba Drugoga svjetskog rata: USS West Virginia sudjelovao je u bitkama Iwo Jima i Okinama i bio je prisutan u Tokijskom zaljevu kada su se Japanci predali nakon što je druga atomska bomba bačena na Nagasaki

Raspisano: siječanj 1947

USS West Virginia viđen je u drydocku u mornaričkom dvorištu Pearl Harbor 10. lipnja 1942. radi popravljanja štete pretrpljene u napadu na Pearl Harbor. Prethodnog dana ušla je u suho pristanište. Obratite pažnju na veliku zakrpu na trupu usred brodova, prljavštinu na trupu i veliki oklopni pojas

USS West Virginia prilazi drydocku u mornaričkom dvorištu Pearl Harbor 8. lipnja 1942. Ušla je u Drydock broj jedan sljedećeg dana, nešto više od šest mjeseci nakon što je potonula u japanskom zračnom napadu

USS West Virginia sudjelovao je u bitkama Iwo Jima i Okinama i bio je prisutan u Tokijskom zaljevu kada su se Japanci predali nakon što je druga atomska bomba bačena na Nagasaki

Zapadna Virginija u SAD -u viđena je oko 1944. godine, nakon što je popravljena i vraćena u službu

USS West Virginia ispraćen je iz Pearl Harbora 30. travnja 1943. na putu do mornaričkog dvorišta Puget Sound u Bremertonu u Washingtonu radi obnove. Mornaričko dvorište Pearl Harbor upravo je završilo privremeni popravak štete koju je zadobila u japanskom napadu 7. prosinca 1941.

Šteta tijekom Pearl Harbora: Pogođen parom bombi i zaglavljen između njegovih vezova i potonulog broda

Popravci: Prošli smo dva i pol mjeseca popravka u Puget Soundu

Vraćen u službu: veljača 1942

Služba Drugoga svjetskog rata: Vodio je nekoliko bitki na Pacifiku od Aleutskih otoka na Aljasci do Iwo Jime.

Raspisano: veljača 1947

Pogled na bojni brod USS Tennessee koji pruža pokriće s utrkivanja američkih invazijskih trupa na obalu u Okinawi u amfibijskim tenkovima, 1945. Tennessee je oštećen tijekom napada na Pearl Harbor, ali se vratio u službu u veljači 1942. godine.


Nakon napada na Pearl Harbor

Nakon napada na Pearl Harbor dogodilo se nekoliko stvari. Na izolirani otok Nihau sletio je japanski avion, osakaćen u napadu. Domaći Havajčanin razoružao je pilota ovog aviona. Brzo je poslana poruka na otok Kauai sa zahtjevom za pomoć. Tijekom zadržavanja, pilot zrakoplova uvjerio je japanskog potomka na otoku da ga pusti i vrati mu oružje, a nakon toga je počelo divljanje.

Podoficirski zrakoplov Shigenori Nishikaichi prikazan je deset dana nakon pada na otoku Ni ’ihau.

Dvojica mještana, Benhakaka Kanahelea i njegova supruga, zarobljeni su od strane ova dva Japanaca. Na kraju su skočili svojim otmičarima i pobjegli. Kanahelea je zadobio prostrelne rane u prepone, trbuh i nogu. Uspio je podići pilota i baciti ga uza zid. Ovaj se pilot tada upucao i time je završila kratka “Bitka Ni ’ihau ”.

Nakon napada na Pearl Harbor, vojska je predviđala da će Japanci tamo sletjeti na snazi. Po obodu svih glavnih otoka američke su trupe zauzele položaje. Postavili su barijeru na plaži kako bi spriječili slijetanje, a sve zračne luke na Havajima preuzela je vojska sa prizemljenim svim privatnim zrakoplovima. Mobilizirane su jedinice ROTC -a sa Sveučilišta, kao i jedinice Teritorijalne garde Havaja. Teritorijalni guverner Havaja Poindexter izrazio je protivljenje proglašenju ratnog stanja. General Walter C. Short dao je izjavu i najavio da će teritorijalna vlada Havaja biti pod njegovom kontrolom kao vojni guverner Havaja. Tijekom ratnog stanja bilo je zamračenja, policijskog sata i drugih ograničenja. Pošta i vijesti također su bile cenzurirane.

Nakon napada na Pearl Harbor, mnoge vladine zgrade, poput palače Iolani, postale su vojni uredi. Građanski sudovi zamijenjeni su vojnim zakonom, što je utjecalo i na vojno osoblje i na civilno stanovništvo. Otoci su postali jedna velika vojna baza, a poduzeća u vlasništvu japanskih civila zatvorena su. FBI, vojska i lokalna policija uhitili su svakoga za koga su smatrali da je prijetnja. Stanovnicima su uzeti otisci prstiju i od njih se tražilo da uvijek nose osobne iskaznice. Tvrtke i stanovnici nisu mogli sa sobom držati više od 200 USD gotovine. Ljudi su mislili da će Vojno stanje trajati samo kratko, ali to je trajalo gotovo tri godine. Policijski sat i zamračenja trajali su čak do srpnja 1945.

Nakon napada na Pearl Harbor mnogi ljudi japanskog podrijetla odvedeni su u zatočeničke centre, ali oni nisu mogli sve zadržati. Smišljen je plan preseljenja 100.000 Japanaca s Havaja, ali to se nikada nije dogodilo. U veljači 1942., nedugo nakon što su se Amerikanci pridružili ratu, predsjednik Roosevelt izdao je izvršnu naredbu koja je dopuštala da se japansko-američki građani sakupe, a zatim smjeste u "centre za preseljenje". Oni su se nalazili u različitim državama poput Idaha, Utaha, Kalifornije, Arizone, Wyominga, Arkansasa i Colorada. To je utjecalo na više od 120.000 Japanaca, a oko 80.000 njih bili su američki državljani.

U logorima je vladala prenapučenost i loši uvjeti. Hrana je bila rangirana i tamo nije bilo vodovodnih instalacija niti objekata za kuhanje. Zatočenicima je ponuđeno da budu pušteni ako pristanu pridružiti se vojsci. Mnogi to nisu prihvatili, a samo 1200 se prijavilo.


Povijest Pearl Harbora prije napada

Fotografija otoka Ford iz 1918. u Pearl Harboru, Oahu.

Polinežani su stoljećima nastanjivali Havajske otoke. Europljani su relativno kasno otkrili Havaje. Prvi posjet zapadnjaka otocima bio je 1778. godine kada je stigao britanski kapetan James Cook.

Engleski brod Butterworth, pod vodstvom kapetana Williama Browna, ušao je u luku Honolulu 1793. Kapetan Cook prošao ga je na svom poznatom putovanju 1778. godine, ali nije ušao jer je na ulazu u luku bio koralj. Koraljna stijena minirana je 1902. godine, a stijena je iskopana kako bi velike posude došle u brave.

Rečeno je da je nasilno uplitanje u luku uzrujalo božicu morskog psa Ka’ahupahaua, a Havajci su uskoro predvidjeli nevolje. Uslijedili su mnogi tragični incidenti tijekom nastavka rada u Pearl Harboru.

1876. Kraljevina Havaji potpisala je sporazum o reciprocitetu sa Sjedinjenim Američkim Državama, ustupivši kontrolu nad Pearl Harbourom SAD-u u zamjenu za bescarinski izvoz sirovog šećera u Sjedinjene Države.

Havajska monarhija srušena je 1893. godine, a Havaji su pripojeni kao teritorij Sjedinjenih Država 1898. To je bio strateški važan događaj za Sjedinjene Države jer se Pearl Harbor nalazi na tako važnom strateškom mjestu u Tihom oceanu.

1940. predsjednik Roosevelt naredio je premještanje Pacifičke flote u Pearl Harbor iz Kalifornije. Japanski stratezi ovo su vidjeli kao prijetnju. Japanske i američke vlade pregovarale su o miru, ali to je bilo neuspješno i Drugi svjetski rat počeo je kada je Japansko carstvo napalo Pearl Harbor 7. prosinca 1941. godine.

Ne samo da se povijest Pearl Harbora drastično promijenila nakon napada. Povijest cijelog svijeta promijenila se tog dana. Pročitajte više o napadu na Pearl Harbor


Kako je mornarička junakinja Dorie Miller i hrabrost#8217 pomogle u borbi protiv diskriminacije u američkoj vojsci

U nekoliko trenutaka na opsjednutom brodu USS West Virginia, gospođa Doris "Dorie" Miller postala je katalizator promjena.

(Zapovjedništvo pomorske povijesti i baštine)

Thomas W. Cutrer i T. Michael Parrish
Prosinca 2019

Dorie Miller, prva američka heroja Drugog svjetskog rata, pomogla je očistiti put drugima čineći ono što nije smjela

MEĐU PANTEONOM od američkih heroja, nitko nije nevjerojatniji od crnog sina teksaških dionica i unuka robova, Doris Miller. Miller, mnogima poznat kao "Dorie", rođen je 12. listopada 1919., tijekom najmračnijih dana epidemije linča koja je zadesila jug u prvim desetljećima 20. stoljeća. Samo tri godine prije nego što se Miller rodio, njegov rodni grad Waco postao je poprište jednog od najbrutalnijih linčeva zabilježenih kada je 17-godišnji Jesse Washington živ spaljen na travnjaku gradske vijećnice. Miller je bio prisiljen napustiti srednju školu kako bi pomogao uzdržavati svoju problematičnu obitelj - "Tih smo dana bili pomalo gladni", kasnije je objasnila njegova majka - ali kad nije mogao pronaći posao, u rujnu 1939., u 19, pridružio se američkoj mornarici.

U to vrijeme crnci koji su služili u mornarici nisu samo bili neprikladni za napredovanje, već su bili poslani u nisku poslovnu podružnicu gdje su imali zadatak namjestiti krevete i sjajiti cipele svojim bijelim časnicima i čekati ih u časničkom stolu . Kako je rekao jedan od Millerovih kolega, oni su bili samo "morski zvonici, sobarice i perilice posuđa". Prema propisima, nisu se mogli obučavati niti raspoređivati ​​u bilo koju drugu specijalnost, poput signala, inženjeringa ili oružja. Njihova borbena postaja nalazila se ispod palube u "rupi" ili magazinu, gdje su dostavljali municiju do topnika. Nisu smjeli čak ni nositi gumbe označene oznakama mornarice, sidro isprepleteno lancem, a umjesto toga morali su nositi obične gumbe.

Ali, rekao je Miller, "bolje je sjediti oko Waca i raditi kao autobus, nigdje ne ide." Nakon što je pohađao rasno odvojeni kamp za obuku u Norfolku u Virginiji, dodijeljen je 2. siječnja 1940. na bojni brod USS Zapadna Virginia—Koji je, zbog rastućih napetosti između Sjedinjenih Država i rastućeg japanskog carstva, zajedno s cijelom pacifičkom flotom ubrzo prebačen u Pearl Harbor.


Millerovi roditelji, Conery i Henrietta, obrađivali su 28 hektara izvan Wacoa u Teksasu. (Memorijal Doris Miller)

Tamo je ujutro, 7. prosinca 1941., flota bila napadnuta zrakoplovima nosača japanske carske mornarice. Kad je napad napadnut, Doris Miller, tada 22 -godišnjakinja i pomoćnica 3. klase, bila je ispod palube i prala rublje jednog od zastavnika broda. Prvom eksplozijom torpeda javio se u svoju bojnu stanicu, brodski časopis. Međutim, otkrio je da je časopis već poplavljen, pa je otišao tražiti zamjenu. Naišao je na brodskog časnika za komunikacije, zapovjednika Doira C. Johnsona, koji mu je naredio da ode do signalne palube, gdje Zapadna VirginiaZapovjednik, kapetan Mervyn Sharp Bennion ležao je smrtno ranjen. Miller, brodski boksački prvak u teškoj kategoriji, dobio je naredbu da podigne svog umirućeg kapetana i odnese ga na mjesto relativne sigurnosti, zaštićeno mjesto tik do krmenog tornja ispod protuzračnih topova sa strane luke.

Do tada je brod pretrpio velika oštećenja od šest japanskih torpeda (sedmo nije uspjelo eksplodirati) i dvije bombe, te se našao na drastičnom popisu, utišavši topove s lučke strane. Međutim, većina njegovih desnih topova još je bila u funkciji, pa je poručnik mlađeg razreda Frederic H. White naredio Milleru da počne dovoditi municiju, zapakiranu u pojaseve duge 27 stopa, u jedan od par strojnica Browning .50 kalibra koji su stajali. besposleno u blizini, dok je White ispalio pištolj na dolazeće japanske avione. Paluba je bila preplavljena uljem i vodom, a vatra je bjesnila. No, Miller je, pronašavši drugi pištolj bez nadzora, bez naredbi i bez ikakve obuke za njegovo djelovanje, preuzeo kontrolu i otvorio vatru. "Nije bilo teško", kasnije je ispričao. "Samo sam povukao okidač i ona je dobro radila."

White je kasnije izvijestio da Miller "nije znao mnogo o mitraljezu, ali ja sam mu rekao što da učini, a on je to učinio. Imao je dobro oko. ” Prema zapovjedniku poručnika Johnsona, koji je također bio prisutan, Miller je dobro držao pištolj, "plamteći kao da je pucao iz njega cijeli život". Miller je sam izjavio da je "kada su japanski bombarderi napali moj brod u Pearl Harboru zaboravio na činjenicu da ja i drugi crnci možemo biti samo zbrkani u mornarici i da nismo naučeni kako upravljati protuzračnom puškom".

Tek kad mu je u pištolju nestalo streljiva i kritično je oštećen Zapadna Virginia počeo tonuti, prestao je pucati, a tek kad je kapetan Bennion službeno proglašen mrtvim, mala skupina časnika i ljudi napustila je brodski most. Silazeći na palubu broda, Miller je pomogao izvući mornare iz goruće vode, neupitno spašavajući živote brojnim muškarcima. Do tada je brod bio poplavljen ispod palube i brzo se smjestio u plitkoj vodi luke, a njegov stariji preživjeli časnik izdao je naredbu da napusti brod.

Doris Miller bila je jedna od posljednje trojice muškaraca koja su otišla Zapadna Virginia. On i njegovi brodski drugovi doplivali su 300 do 400 metara do obale, izbjegavajući zapaljive dijelove ulja s USS -a Arizona i izvlačenje iz japanskih aviona. Kad je izletio na obalu, Miller je kasnije rekao svom bratu, "s tim mecima koji su se razlijevali svuda oko mene, božjom milošću nikada nisam dobio ni ogrebotinu." Čak i tada, Miller je pomogao brojnim ozlijeđenim mornarima da se izvuku na kopno.


USS West Virginia, iza kojega stoji USS Tennessee, gori dok kobilica počiva na dnu Pearl Harbora. (Nacionalni arhiv)

Od Zapadna Virginia1.541 član posade, 106 je poginulo, a 52 ranjeno. Sedam od osam američkih bojnih brodova tog dana u luci potopljeno je ili teško oštećeno. Miller je svoj opstanak pripisao božanskoj providnosti: "Mora da je to bilo na Božjoj snazi ​​i na majčin blagoslov", rekao je kasnije novinaru.

Još uvijek postoje značajne kontroverze o tome koliko je Millerovo oružje bilo učinkovito. Procjene - nagađanja, doista - imale su čak pola tuceta oborenih aviona, a njegova opravdano ponosna nećakinja kasnije je ustvrdila da je njegova oružana oružja spasila Zapadnu obalu SAD -a od invazije tog prosinca. But despite Miller’s best effort, just 29 of the 350 attacking Japanese aircraft failed to return to their carriers—and only one of those fell within the range of any of Zapadna Virginia’s guns. Even that one, an Aichi D3A “Val” dive-bomber, was most likely struck by fire from Zapadna Virginia’s sister ship, USS Maryland, which was berthed forward of it, on the starboard side of USS Oklahoma. According to an ensign, Victor Delano, who had been beside Miller on Zapadna Virginia’s bridge, “everyone else in the bay” had been shooting at the dive-bomber as well. Said Lieutenant White, firing alongside Miller: “I certainly did not see him shoot down a plane.”

However many planes he may or may not have shot down, though, is beside the point: Doris Miller’s heroic actions at Pearl Harbor helped launch a revolution. He deserves his niche in the pantheon of American heroes, for he provided an immeasurably important symbol for black Americans in their struggle for desegregation and equal opportunity—not only in the armed forces, but throughout the breadth of American society.

WITHIN WEEKS OF THE DISASTER at Pearl Harbor, the navy’s public relations officials released a number of stories, based on after-action reports of the attack, of heroism “equal to any in U.S. naval history.” Those reports referenced the activities of an unknown black sailor, and hearsay stories soon began to circulate. On December 22, 1941, the New York Times printed a sketchy description related by an unidentified naval officer who supposedly served on USS Arizona of a black sailor “who stood on the hot decks of his battleship and directed the fighting.” This mess attendant, “who never before had fired a gun,” the story went, “manned a machine gun on the bridge until his ammunition was exhausted.” This messman was added—though not by name—to the navy’s 1941 Honor Roll of Race Relations. On New Year’s Day 1942, the navy released its list of commendations for heroism at Pearl Harbor. On the list was a single commendation for the still-unnamed black sailor.

When Miller’s mother heard the news of the black sailor who manned a machine gun, she was confident it was her son: “That’s got to be Doris they talking about,” she later told Texas historian R. Chris Santos. Not until March 1942 did the Pittsburgh Courier, an influential African-American newspaper, release a story that at last identified the black messman as Miller.

Bills were quickly introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to award Miller the Medal of Honor, but Georgia Democrat Carl Vinson, the House of Representatives’ Chairman of Naval Affairs, averred that Miller’s deeds were not deserving of the nation’s highest award for valor Secretary of the Navy William Franklin Knox and the congressional delegation from Miller’s home state seconded him. Both at the time and since, numerous historians and political leaders have argued that gallant as were the sacrifices of the 16 men—all of them white and most officers and petty officers—who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day, Dorie Miller’s exploits were at least of equal distinction, and all the more to be honored because of the oppressive racial stigma under which he performed so heroically.

While this controversy raged in the press, Miller, who had been assigned to the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis on December 13, 1941, was on duty in the South Pacific at a time of great shock and uncertainty. “Mother, don’t worry about me and tell all my friends not to shed any tears for me,” he wrote home, “for when the dark clouds pass over, I’ll be back on the sunny side.” But Miller’s occupational specialty remained in the messman branch and his battle station remained in the “hole,” handling ammunition.


Admiral Chester W. Nimitz awards Miller the Navy Cross a Pittsburgh paper campaigned for him and started the "Double V" campaign, for victory both abroad and for black Americans at home. (Zapovjedništvo pomorske povijesti i baštine)

In the States, politicians and journalists charged the navy with foot-dragging and indifference to blacks in the armed forces, with Walter F. White, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pointing out that no citations had been awarded to black personnel “for acts of gallantry or heroism during the attack,” and urging President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary Knox to grant official recognition to Miller. “Without in any manner detracting from the heroism and gallantry under fire of white Americans who died at Pearl Harbor,” White urged, “the heroism of this Negro mess attendant merits special consideration.”

Due largely to Miller’s inspiration and under growing pressure to provide more equal opportunities for black recruits, Knox announced in April that “Negro recruits who volunteer for general service” would be trained at Camp Robert Smalls—an all-black section of the U.S. Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, Illinois—as gunner’s mates, quartermasters, radiomen, yeomen, boatswain’s mates, radar operators, and other specialties besides messmen.

And on May 11, President Roosevelt approved awarding Miller the Navy Cross—at the time, the third-highest U.S. Navy award for gallantry during combat. It was the first such medal ever awarded to a black sailor. On May 27, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, presented Miller with the Navy Cross on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Poduzeće. Nimitz—also a native Texan—said then that Miller’s award “marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race, and I’m sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts.”

The Pittsburgh Courier continued advocating for Miller, in June calling for him to be returned to the States for a war bond tour. The paper demanded that Secretary Knox order him home “so that he may perform the same service among his people that the white heroes are performing among their people.” Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican nominee for president, and New York’s popular mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, also urged the navy secretary to allow Miller to return on a war bond tour. Miller himself was eager to make the trip. As he wrote to the Courier on September 26, “I do hope your paper will continue the campaign in my behalf. It would be a great pleasure to get back for only a few days.”


Miller speaks with sailors and a civilian at the Great Lakes, Illinois, Naval Training Station on January 7, 1943, as part of his war bond tour. (Nacionalni arhiv)

The campaign bore fruit and Miller was ordered home. After nearly a year at sea, he arrived at Pearl Harbor on November 23, 1942. Over the course of the next two-plus months, Miller gave talks in Oakland, California in his hometown of Waco, Texas and in Dallas and Chicago, promoting war bond sales and accepting tokens of admiration from black communities.

Perhaps most significantly, on January 28, 1943, Miller addressed the first class of black sailors to graduate from Camp Robert Smalls. The greatest honor that the navy could pay Miller, the editor of the Pittsburgh Courier had written, “would be for it to abolish forthwith the restrictions now in force, so that black Americans can serve their country and their navy in any capacity. This action by the navy would not only reward a hero, but would serve dramatic notice that this country is in fact a democracy in an all-out war against anti-democratic forces.”

The focus of Miller’s talk at Camp Robert Smalls was the tremendous pride he felt in the navy and of the privilege of being a part of it. “It is almost unbelievable just what the perfect coordination and strength of our navy actually is,” Miller told a reporter, and he urged the new sailors to “take advantage of their opportunities.”

WHILE THE REVOLUTION he had helped to inspire unfolded around him, Miller himself was transferred for reassignment. On June 1, 1943, he arrived aboard the newly constructed escort carrier USS Liscome Bay as a mess attendant and was promoted to cook, third class. His new ship was a CVE—a so-called “baby flattop.” Sailors sardonically claimed “CVE” stood for “Combustible, Vulnerable, and Expendable.” Only two-thirds the length of such fleet carriers as the Poduzeće, escort carriers were less expensive and more quickly built, but also relatively slow and less well-armed and armored.

The Liscome Bay supported the Marine landings on Makin and Tarawa, pounding Japanese gun emplacements and air bases. With Thanksgiving approaching, Miller wrote to his mother that he did not expect the war to end soon but asked that she “prepare a place at the table for me in 1945. I will eat dinner with you all with a smile. Tell my friends to live the life that I am living.”

But on the early morning of November 24, 1943, the ship’s lookout shouted, “Christ, here comes a torpedo!” A single torpedo from Japanese submarine I-175 struck the carrier on the starboard side. Miller responded to general quarters, but a few moments later the ship’s aircraft bomb magazine exploded. “We were hit just back of midship” and just aft of the engine compartment, recalled a survivor, Fireman Third Class Robert E. Haynes. “From here on back, everything was instantly gone.”

The thinly armored Liscome Bay carried over 200,000 pounds of bombs, 120,000 gallons of bunker oil, many thousands of gallons of aviation fuel, and innumerable quantities of 20mm and 40mm cannon shells, all of which exploded. Most of the crew died instantly, and Liscome Bay sank within 23 minutes.

The casualty list was among the largest of any navy vessel in the war. Only 272 officers and enlisted men survived from the crew of more than 900. Doris Miller was not among them. He was listed as “presumed dead” and after 365 days was reported as killed in action. Njegovo tijelo nikada nije pronađeno.


Called the "Golden Thirteen" (above), the navy's first black officers were commissioned on March 17, 1944. Below: a 2010 postage stamp honoring Miller. (Naval History and Heritage Command USPS)

Doris Miller’s death, however, was not in vain. The memory of his life has burned brightly as an example of how an underprivileged and oppressed young man from rural Texas can rise above poverty and racial discrimination—not only to display great courage, devotion, and patriotism, but to help alter the course of American history. In January 1944, less than two months after his death, the navy opened a modest officer-training program at Camp Robert Smalls for black sailors, commissioning its first 13 black officers on March 17, 1944. Now, wrote one newspaper, “the heroic tradition of Dorie Miller at Pearl Harbor will serve as an everlasting inspiration” to every young man “to more fully serve his country and the navy.”

On June 30, 1973, at the christening of a destroyer escort, the USS Miller—named in his honor—Texas Representative Barbara Jordon predicted that the “Dorie Millers of the future will be captains as well as cooks.” And, indeed, by this year, 2019, the U.S. Navy had eight black admirals in its ranks.

So how should Doris Miller be remembered? Ronald Reagan did not get the facts exactly right when, in a 1975 speech, he regaled his audience with the story of “a Negro sailor whose total duties involved kitchen-type duties,” who shot down four dive-bombers with a borrowed machine gun. According to Reagan, Miller’s heroism single-handedly ended racial inequality in America. “When the first bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor,” Reagan intoned, “that was when segregation in the military forces came to an end.”

That, of course, was not true important as they were, Doris Miller’s heroic actions on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack did not sound the death knell of racism in America. But Miller’s heroism—and the legend it engendered—were directly responsible for helping to roll back the navy’s policy of racial segregation and prejudice, and served as a powerful catalyst for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s that brought an end to the worst of America’s racial intolerance. As the Pittsburgh Courier proclaimed in 1956, Doris Miller had “died for his country so that his people might rise another notch in dignity and courage. Every blow struck for civil rights is a monument to [Dorie] Miller, citizen.” ✯

It began with my grandfather.

As a young man, Livingston Brizill Sr. served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. He enlisted the year after the Marine Corps first opened its doors to African Americans. It was 1943 and he was 18, and one of the first from Philadelphia to sign on. Decades later, as a curious child who loved history, I constantly picked his brain over games of checkers, or while he devoured the Philadelphia Inquirer on his way to consuming his next cigarette. I was in awe of his encyclopedic knowledge of history, World War II in particular. It was during this well-spent time that my desire to teach history solidified and my interest in the war grew.

As much as my grandfather spoke about the war, though, he did not talk about his service. His modesty and humility would not allow it. I gathered that he had occupation duty in the Pacific islands and worked on water purification. Like most African Americans who served in World War II, he did not see combat. One of my most prized possessions was his 1944 camp yearbook, passed on to me by my grandmother, that detailed the training he received at Montford Point, in North Carolina, before shipping out. This book gave me a window into his training and preparation in a segregated Marine Corps. In the few photos that I have seen from his service, I could tell he was proud to wear the uniform.


Livingston Brizill joined the Marines in 1943 he later helped feed a love of history in the author—his grandson. (Courtesy of Dante R. Brizill)

When I realized my dream of becoming a history teacher, beginning in 2004, I could not help but reflect on our time together. One year, while teaching about the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, I showed a National Geographic documentary, Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack—fittingly narrated by Tom Brokaw, author of the book The Greatest Generation. There was a short segment on a young African American mess attendant stationed aboard the battleship USS Zapadna Virginia. I had heard about Doris “Dorie” Miller before, but not in this way. I could finally connect a face—a person—with his heroism. He was more than just the white officers’ mess servant he was someone who showed that he had skills beyond those assigned to him.

I paused the clip and mentioned that it’s not too late to award Dorie Miller the Medal of Honor, but that it would have to be demanded by the citizenry. From that day on, I became inspired to make Miller known outside of the four walls of my classroom. I decided to write a book—a brief history aimed at students. One of my purposes in doing so was to inspire among readers an interest in the African American experience in the war, so it would never be forgotten.


Today author Brizill teaches history to high school students. Inspired by the Dorie Miller story, he uses it to inspire his students. (Courtesy of Dante R. Brizill)

Over the years, I’ve discovered that when I show passion and interest in something, it sparks something inside my students, and this was the case again. Throughout the writing process, my students encouraged me, becoming my cheerleaders. “When is that book coming out?!” was a familiar refrain. Finally, in November 2018, Dorie Miller: Greatness Under Fire je pušten. I knew I had achieved one of my goals when a student emailed me after reading it. “A book never stops once you close it, it stops where you choose,” he wrote to me. “Topics and people like this should be immortalized, never to be lost to time.”

If it wasn’t for my grandfather and his service, I probably would not have taken the interest in World War II that I did and come across one of its first heroes: Dorie Miller. We may think we know all that we need to know about the war, but as we dig a little deeper and uncover stories like my grandfather’s and people like Dorie Miller, we will continue to find ways to be inspired by those men and women who served us honorably. ✯
—Dante R. Brizill has been teaching history at Elkton High School, in Elkton, Maryland, since 2006. His book is available on Amazon.com.

This story was originally published in the December 2019 issue of Drugi Svjetski rat časopis. Subscribe here.


How the Tanker USS Neosho Helped Save U.S. Carriers in Battle of Coral Sea

Undoubtedly, some types of U.S. Naval ships, past and present, are more recognizable, more famous, more flashy than others. Aircraft carriers and battleships immediately come to mind. Less likely to be noticed or lauded are the behind-the-scenes workhorses of the fleet, such as the humble tanker or fleet oiler.

According to the website Američki trgovački marinac u ratu, “During World War II, American tankers made 6,500 voyages to carry 65 million tons of oil and gasoline from the U.S. and the Caribbean to the war zones and to our Allies. They supplied 80% of the fuel used by bombers, tanks, jeeps, and ships during the War.”

Tankers were a valuable commodity, considering each one had a liquid capacity of roughly 6 million gallons. Plenty of thirsty fighting ships depended on them for refueling at sea to carry out their combat missions.

The U.S. Navy fleet oiler USS Neosho (AO-23) refueling the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5), 1 May 1942, shortly before the Battle of Coral Sea

One of these tankers was USS Neosho (AO 23), nicknamed “Fat Girl” and “floating gas station.” Launched in 1939, she was the second of the Cimarron class of fast tankers. With larger engines, these ships could attain a speed of 18 knots to meet the Navy’s specific requirement for faster refueling ships.

Neosho survived Pearl Harbor without a scratch, served a crucial role in the Pacific for several months, and provided one last valuable service to the fleet during her death at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.

When the Japanese infamously attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Neosho was present, located between the battleship USS Kalifornija and the rest of Battleship Row. Considering the beating that the Japanese gave the occupants of Battleship Row, it is remarkable that Neosho escaped completely unscathed, even from accidental hits.

She got underway, passing so close to the burning USS Arizona that her sailors could feel the heat, but managed to navigate safely past the flames. Her captain, Commander John S. Phillips, later received the Navy Cross for relocating the tanker during the attack. His citation reads, in part:

USS Arizona during the attack

At the time of the attack the U.S.S. NEOSHO was moored alongside the gasoline dock, Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, and had just completed discharging gasoline at that station. When fire was opened on enemy planes, Commander Phillips realized the serious fire hazard of remaining alongside the dock as well as being in a position that prevented a battleship from getting underway, [and] got underway immediately.

Mooring lines were cut, and without the assistance of tugs, Commander Phillips accomplished the extremely difficult task of getting the ship underway from this particular berth in a most efficient manner, the difficulty being greatly increased by a battleship having capsized in the harbor.

U.S.S. Neosho, Navy oil tanker, cautiously backs away from her berth (right center) in a successful effort to escape the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

That the Japanese did not succeed in destroying the fuel storage tanks at Pearl Harbor is one of the main factors credited for why the Americans rebounded as quickly as they did afterward. It is worth noting that the Japanese likewise missed a golden opportunity to destroy Neosho, the only Cimarron-class tanker in the Pacific at the time, heavily targeting the battleships while allowing another valuable fleet asset to escape scot-free.

Walter Lord, in his book Day of Infamy, recorded that one Zero even held its fire while passing Neosho, which seemed “just a waste of good bullets.”

For the next few months, Neosho stayed busy, generally accompanying the carrier fleets, although sometimes she had to transit alone if there were no escorts to spare. Her sister oilers Platte (AO 24) and Sabine (AO 25), took part in operations against the Marshall and Gilbert Islands as well as the bombardment of Wake Island.

Neosho got in on some action in March 1942 as part of the USS Lexington (CV 2) task force strikes on Salamaua and on Lae on the New Guinea coast.

Sabine (foreground) and the guided missile cruiser Albany in the Caribbean Sea in March 1967

In May 1942, Neosho was assigned to Task Force 17 centered around the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV 5) which was in the Coral Sea hunting for the Japanese fleet that was heading to attack Port Moresby, New Guinea. After Neosho fueled Yorktown i Astoria (CA 34) on May 6, she was detached from the main force along with the destroyer USS Simsi (DD 409) as her escort, and was sent southward to await the fleet at their next refueling rendezvous.

Early the following day, scout planes from the Japanese carrier Shokaku spotted the two ships and misidentified Neosho as a carrier. This led the Japanese promptly to launch all the available aircraft onboard Shokaku i Zuikaku to go after her.

78 dive bombers, torpedo planes, and Zeros arrived in Neosho‘s vicinity and, likely to the mystification of the ships’ crews, kept appearing and disappearing for a couple hours as they hunted for the nonexistent American aircraft carrier. However, one plane did drop a bomb near Simsi and the ships fired at the planes anytime they got close enough.

USS Neosho

Once the Japanese realized that misidentification of Neosho had sent them on a wild goose chase, most of the planes departed, but not all of them — after all, the ships might as well be sunk first. So it was that “Fat Girl,” ignored at Pearl Harbor, now had the full attention of two or three dozen Japanese dive bombers, with one lone destroyer as backup.

Simsi made a heroic effort to protect Neosho, but was hit amidships by three bombs right away. In short order her boilers exploded, tearing the ship in two. Simsi sank so quickly that only 15 of her sailors, 2 of them fatally wounded, were able to make it over to Neosho in a whaleboat.

Neosho had not been standing idly by during Sims’s demise. Commander Phillips, in his after-action report, recorded:

“The 20 mm fire of the Neosho [sic] was very effective. At no time during the engagement did the machine gunners falter at their jobs…. However, despite any courageous tenacity on the part of the gun crews, it was quite obvious that if a pilot desired to carry his bomb home, he could not be stopped…. Three enemy planes are definitely known to have been shot down by this ship, of which one made the suicidal run into Gun No. 4 enclosure.”

USS Simsi

Once Simsi sank and Neosho was left to contend with the swarming dive bombers alone, the assault was brutal. Phillips noted: “In the immediate vicinity of the bridge, three direct hits and a number of near misses occurred.

In the aft part of the ship, two direct hits, a suicidal dive of a plane, and the blowing up of at least two boilers, along with several near misses, occurred.” When the planes departed, Neosho was powerless, drifting, and sinking. It seemed a foregone conclusion that the ship would not survive.

During the chaos, 158 of her sailors either found themselves trapped aft and so driven overboard by fire and escaping steam, or heard garbled versions of Phillip’s order to “Prepare to Abandon Ship but not to abandon until so ordered,” and had abandoned ship anyway with all the intact life rafts. Tragically, the 68 who made it onto the rafts, none of which held food or water, would not be found for 9 days. Of the 158 who went overboard, only 4 were recovered alive.

Neosho burning, 7 May 1942.

Neosho refused to give up and sink, at least not yet. Valiant efforts were made at damage control by the survivors of the attack who remained onboard. 16 officers and 94 enlisted men kept Neosho afloat, even though she was damaged beyond repair, continually taking on more water, and listing 30 degrees in rough seas.

Phillips later submitted eight “outstanding cases worthy of commendation and praise” in his after-action report, including that of Chief Watertender Oscar V. Peterson, who made the ultimate sacrifice to help save his ship and shipmates. Phillips recounted:

“PETERSON was in charge of the repair party stationed in the crew’s mess compartment adjacent to the upper level of the fireroom, with the additional specific duty of closing the four main steam line bulkhead stop valves during the battle, should damage dictate the need for shutting down these valves. When the bomb exploded in the fireroom the iron door leading from the fireroom to the mess compartment was torn open and the force of the explosion from the bomb, steam lines, and boilers knocked PETERSON down and burned his face and hands. In spite of noises indicating further damage being done by bombs to other parts of the ship, personal injury and lack of assistance because of serious injury to other men in his repair party, PETERSON worked his way into the fireroom trunk over the forward end of the two forward boilers, when escaping steam had dissipated sufficiently to permit him to reach the bulkhead stop valves, and closed these valves. By so doing, he received additional severe burns about his head, arms, and legs, which resulted in his death on May 13, 1942.”

A wave breaks over the main deck, engulfing hose crew, as Neosho (AO-23) refuels Yorktown (CV-5) early in May 1942, shortly before the Battle of Coral Sea

The other seven cases detailed by Phillips are equally gallant accounts. As a result of his captain’s recommendation, Peterson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

From May 7-11, Neosho‘s survivors held on, with little choice but to remain on the crippled ship although the captain was certain that at any time she might “sink of her own accord or break in two” as the main deck plating began to buckle. The destroyer USS Henley (DD 391) came to their rescue on the 11th, and after taking the survivors on board, complied with Phillip’s request to scuttle Neosho.

USS Henley (DD-391)

The plucky oiler, just over 3 years after she had first been launched, met her end as usefully as she had lived, for it is possible that had Shokaku i Zuikaku‘s entire complement of aircraft not been distracted in the wrong direction for several hours by an oiler that turned out to be an unintentional decoy carrier, they may have instead attacked the real carriers in full force that morning in the Coral Sea.

Indeed, an hour after Neosho was sighted, other Japanese scout planes actually spotted Lexington i Yorktown. Faced with conflicting information and wondering if the Americans had split their carrier forces, the Japanese decided to proceed with the attack to the south. Thus the fate of Neosho was sealed, but the carriers were saved from the onslaught that sank both Neosho i Simsi.


After Pearl Harbor, The Navy Learned What Horrors Awaited The Crew Of The USS West Virginia

In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, recovery crews made a grisly discovery aboard the USS West Virginia.

During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the primary target was Battleship Row. These capital ships had to suffice since the American carriers were away. Among the battleships lined up alongside Ford Island was the USS Zapadna Virginia, a 20-year-old warship with a crew of over a thousand. During the battle the ship took seven torpedo hits along the port side along with two bomb strikes around its superstructure. The ship rapidly flooded, settling on the floor of the harbor with her superstructure above water.

In the aftermath of the attack frantic efforts were made to save survivors trapped below decks on the sunken and damaged ships. Hulls were cut open and divers darted beneath the waves in desperate attempts to save them. The minesweeper Tern lay alongside the “Weevee,” as the battleship was nicknamed, playing water over the fires burning aboard her. When the fires were extinguished at 2PM, the Tern moved over to the Arizona. Commander D. H. Clark, the Fleet Maintenance Officer, reported on December 9 the Zapadna Virginia was “doubtful,” estimating 12 to 18 months for repairs if she could be saved at all.

Stripped for Useful Items

Since the ship couldn’t be quickly salvaged, it was stripped for useful items. Guards were posted on the ship starting on December 8 to protect against looting, theft or espionage. Sentry duty aboard the half-sunken wreck of their former home was a sad time for them. During the quiets times some sailors reported hearing tapping noises coming from below decks. They believed the noise came from trapped crew members signaling desperately for help. There were some 70 men missing from the ship’s complement. Their officers told them it was only the sound of wreckage and loose items floating in and around the ship, banging into the hull.

Not As Bad as First Suspected

Several 5-inch guns were removed and installed on other ships and shore batteries. Weeks later divers inspected her damage and learned it was not as bad as first suspected the ship could be refloated and repaired sooner than expected. On December 23 inspectors went through the upper decks, finding burn damage and opened lockers as if someone looted the ship in the aftermath. Larger items such as the main guns, masts and stacks were removed, lightening the ship in preparation for refloating her.

Next began the process of sealing her hull. As diver’s inspected the ship, they found a previously unseen torpedo hit at her stern. The ship had suffered extensive damage whole compartments were essentially open to the sea. Painstakingly, these holes were patched and covered in order to refloat the ship so permanent repairs could be made. Eventually, these efforts paid off and they were ready to return the battleship to life.

Disturbing Discoveries

Pumps began to slowly send water flowing out of the ship. Decomposed bodies were found and carefully placed into waiting body-bags. Valuables were collected and cataloged. If the owners could be identified the items were returned the rest were auctioned for the crew’s emergency fund. On 17 May Zapadna Virginia was floating again after over five months. Work went on to prepare the ship for dry dock and finish cleaning out the flooded decks. Even a few .50-caliber machine guns were mounted in case of another Japanese air attack.

It was only on May 27 the most disturbing discoveries of the salvage operation were made. In the aft engine room, several bodies were found lying on steam pipes. They had evidently been able to survive a short time in an air pocket, suffocating when the oxygen finally ran out. Worse still was found in compartment A-111, a storeroom. When the door to this compartment was opened, only three feet of water was inside. On the shelves of the storeroom lay the bodies of three sailors, Louis Costin, 21, Clifford Olds, 20, and Ronald Endicott, 18. With them was a calendar with the dates December 7 to 23 marked off in red pencil. There were emergency rations and access to a fresh water tank in the compartment.

Each man had a watch, enabling them to mark the passage of time. The crew was horrified by the news, especially divers that had sounded the hull and listened for replies but heard nothing. The sentries who reported hearing banging below were angry, though whether anything could have been done at the time is debatable. The matter was a subject of quiet discussion among crew members for years after.

Zapadna Virginia was rebuilt and served out the war mainly as a fire support vessel for amphibious landings. She did serve at the Battle of Surigao Strait, the last big-gun ship battle. Zapadna Virginia was also present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. Decommissioned after the war, she was sold for scrap in 1959.


The U.S. Navy's Battleships Wanted Revenge After Pearl Harbor—This Is How They Got It

Key point: Hiroshi Tanaka of Yamashiro described survivors as saying that Nishimura’s strategy was that of a warrant officer, not an admiral.

In the distance, they could see the jagged flashes of lightning, an incoming squall in the dark. Just before the rain arrived, so did St. Elmo’s Fire, and the gun barrels and radio antennas on the PT boats crackled with blue sparks and streamers of static electricity.

Then there was another lightning flash, and suddenly Lieutenant (j.g.) Terry Chambers, the executive officer of PT-491 saw them—a column of seven Japanese warships advancing in the dark, headed for Surigao Strait and the waiting U.S. Seventh Fleet. It was the extremely early morning of October 25, 1944, and two battleships and a heavy cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy were steaming toward what would become one of the most one-sided battles in naval history, and the last duel between battleships of the line.

The Battle of Surigao Strait was a major portion of the titanic Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest and last major naval battle ever fought, an epic engagement that saw the use of every type of naval warfare except the mine.

The Leyte Gulf battle began with the American decision on July 27, 1944, to target the Philippines instead of Formosa as their next invasion site. General Douglas MacArthur would redeem his pledge to return to the Philippines. The initial objective was the invasion of the island of Leyte to secure air and sea bases for the next stages: seizing Mindoro and the climactic assault on the main island of Luzon.

Codenamed King II, the invasion of Leyte would involve two U.S. fleets, the 7th, under Vice Admiral Thomas Cassin Kinkaid, and the 3rd, under Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.

Sho-1: The Imperial Navy Strikes Back

The 3rd Fleet was the offensive arm of the invasion, with nine fleet carriers, eight light carriers, and six fast battleships at its heart. The 7th Fleet was the amphibious force, with more than 100 transports and other vessels (including the British minelayer HMS Ariadne), protected by a swarm of cruisers, destroyers, and escort carriers for close air support, backed by six old battleships configured for shore bombardment, in a Fire Support Force, headed by Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf, flying his flag in the heavy cruiser USS Louisville. Among his ships were the Australian cruiser HMAS Shropshire and the destroyer HMAS Arunta. A-day for the invasion was to be October 20, 1944.

The invaders were not spotted by the Japanese until October 17, when the whole American armada appeared at the mouth of the Gulf of Leyte. When they did so, Admiral Soemu Toyoda, who headed the Imperial Japanese Navy, ordered their long-planned response, Victory Operation One, or Sho-1, into operation.

Sho-1 was one of four plans the Japanese had prepared in anticipation of America’s next offensive move, and they all called for the same reaction: the bulk of the Imperial Japanese Navy steaming forth to attack and destroy the U.S. fleet, regardless of losses to themselves.

Sho-1 was like most Imperial Japanese Navy plans of World War II: a decoy force would lure the Americans in one direction, while the real punch would come from other directions in a complex series of coordinated movements. This time, the decoy force was Japan’s surviving aircraft carriers, under Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, steaming down from the home islands. With barely 100 planes between them, these carriers lacked offensive punch, but the Japanese believed the aggressive Halsey would race after them with his entire 3rd Fleet.

While Halsey was drawn off, the powerful battleships and heavy cruisers of the Imperial Navy, mostly based at Lingga Roads near Singapore and the Borneo fuel stocks, would strike east and ravage the 7th Fleet’s amphibious forces while they lay in Leyte Gulf. The surface ships would pound the 7th Fleet to death with torpedoes and shells, isolating the American invaders on shore. The combination of a trapped army in the Philippines and a smashed navy in the Pacific might at least buy Japan time, or even persuade America to make peace.

The Task Forces of Kurita and Nishimura

The battlewagons at Lingga were commanded by Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita and consisted of a powerful force. They were headed by two immense dreadnoughts, the Yamato i Musashi, sister ships that packed the heaviest armament ever loaded on a battleship, 18.1-inch guns. They were supported by five more dreadnoughts and a screen of cruisers and destroyers, all of which brandished the legendary Type 95 Long Lance torpedo, one of the best in the world. The Imperial Japanese Navy may have been worn down by hard war, but it was still a powerful force with highly skilled sailors and officers well trained in night fighting.

Toyoda and Kurita planned a pincer attack on Leyte Gulf with their battleships. Kurita would take one force, with five battleships, including Yamato i Musashi, through the San Bernardino Strait to hit Leyte Gulf from the north. A second force, under Vice Admiral Shoji Nishimura, a veteran seadog, would steam through the Surigao Strait and smash into Leyte Gulf from the south, the anvil to Kurita’s hammer, just before dawn.A Naval War College graduate of 1911, Nishimura had commanded destroyers in the invasion of the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies in 1941. His son, Teiji Nishimura, a naval aviator, had been killed in the former invasion. In 1942, Nishimura commanded cruisers in the grueling struggle for Guadalcanal, suffering some bad luck but displaying skillful planning and “lion-like fury” in battle.On September 10, 1944, Nishimura was given command of Battleship Division 2, which consisted of the dreadnoughts Fuso i Yamashiro and their destroyer escorts. The two battlewagons, sister ships, dated back to 1911 and were known throughout the fleet for their tall pagoda masts—44 meters above the waterline—and for having sat out most of the war in home waters, mostly as training vessels. The emperor’s brother had served on Fuso twice.

These battleships had never fired their guns in anger. They were the first battleships built with Japanese engines and guns, the most powerful dreadnoughts in the world at the time. Ali Fuso i Yamashiro were slow and outdated by 1944’s standards, armed with six 14-inch guns each. They were sister ships, but not twins, and regarded as the “ugliest ships in the Imperial Navy.” Both had crews of about 1,600 officers and men. Yamashiro flew Nishimura’s flag.

To support Nishimura’s force would be four destroyers, Michishio, Yamagumo, Asagumo, i Shigure, and a veteran heavy cruiser, the Mogami.

Failed Coordination With the Second Striking Force

Studying his war maps, Toyoda did not think that Nishimura had quite enough punch, so he added a second task force to the southern wing, under Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima, swinging down from the Pescadore Islands off Formosa. The second striking force would consist of the heavy cruisers Nachii Ashigara, both veteran ships the light cruiser Abukuma, which had escorted Japan’s carriers to Pearl Harbor and four destroyers, Shiranuhi, Kasumi, Ushio, i Akebono.

Unlike Nishimura, Shima was a desk sailor. Like Nishimura, Shima had graduated from the Naval War College in the class of 1911. He had served in a variety of shore posts, mostly in communications.

Neither force commander coordinated his movements with the other—nor were any orders given to do so. Neither commander was fully briefed about the other’s operations. As far as historians could tell, Nishimura was to clear a path with his battleships so that the cruisers and destroyers behind could finish off the transports with torpedoes. Nishimura’s group was to be called the Third Section, while Shima’s group was the Second Striking Force.

With the Americans moving on Leyte, the Japanese launched their intricate countermoves. Ozawa sortied from Japan, Shima from the Pescadores, and Kurita and Nishimura from Lingga Roads, headed for a refueling stop at Brunei.

On October 20, the Americans invaded Leyte with massive power. Landings began at 10 am, and General MacArthur strode grimly ashore four hours later, making his famous “I have returned!” speech from the invasion beach amid a steady downpour.

Spotted in the Sulu Sea

The next day, Kurita summoned his senior officers to a conference on his flagship, the heavy cruiser Atago. Kurita explained his plans to the assembled admirals, including the decision to split off Nishimura’s force to head for the Surigao Strait. If the complex ship movements worked, the two forces would slam into the American 7th Fleet just before dawn on October 25. The next morning, the Imperial Japanese Navy’s battle line headed out for sea for the very last time, with Kurita and his five dreadnoughts steaming north to the Sibuyan Sea and the San Bernardino Strait.

At 3:30 pm, Nishimura’s ships put to sea. Shima’s ships were already en route. All through the afternoon and night, the two forces steamed along unimpeded into the Sulu Sea. Nije tako Kuritina snaga, koju su uočile dvije američke podmornice, koja je udarila torpeda u tri Kuritina krstarica, potopivši dvije - uključujući i njegov vodeći brod Atago—I oštećivanje treće. Kurita je prebacio zastavu na bojni brod Yamato i otplovio dalje.


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