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Since it was my day off, I slept in, which means I didn’t have breakfast. I was planning on going to a later mass at the Chapel and just wanted to enjoy a lazy day, eat a quick lunch afterwards, and shoot the bull with the guys.
I remember being slightly aggravated because there was so much noise and I was being rudely awakened from a wonderfully sound sleep.
Everything seemed muffled at first and then the next thing that I heard was a loud noise. I practically fell out of bed, and jumped up to see what was going on. As I ran toward the window, someone said that we were being attacked by the Japs.
You have to understand, all of this took seconds, split seconds that seemed to be in slow motion— watching a train wreck that couldn’t be stopped. Every second was engraved in my eyes and brain as each movement was pulling me forward.
I ran to the balcony in my shorts where I had an excellent view of the harbor. The unmistakable sound of multiple airplane bombers coming at us thundered in my ears.
Looking up, I could see large formations of aircraft going to other targets. As I turned my head to look over the harbor, the Jap torpedo planes and dive bombers had a nice clean run at the Battleships.
With each drop of their torpedoes and bombs, I could feel the percussion of the explosions as they annihilated everything on Battleship row.
Some of the men on the ships were firing back, but it was a losing battle. Without any opposition, the Japs had everything going their way.
It was damned sad.
YOU CAN FIND
“I WAS JUST A RADIOMAN”
(BIOGRAPHY TAKEN FROM THE
MEMOIRS OF H.P. LAWRENCE)
BY PAMELA ACKERSON AT: