|Three events stand out in my memory. I could clearly see the Japanese pilots as their torpedo planes came in right over the signal bridge to launch their torpedos on the battle ships. Secondly, the U.S.S. Helena was berthed across the pier from us and the U.S.S. Oglala was berthed outside the Helena. A torpedo aimed at the Helena went underneath the Oglala and hit the Helena. The force of the explosion ruptured the side of the Oglala. Then a bomb between the two ships did further damage. With the aid of tugs, the Ogala moved to the dock astern of the Helena where she continued to flood. About two hours later she capsized. My other recollection was when the U.S.S. Nevada, the only battle ship to get underway, made a run to clear the harbor. As she was moving toward the main channel, a flight of Japanese planes spotted her and made a concentrated attack. With her super structure on fire and her hull a series of gaping holes it was feared she might sink and block the channel. Two tugs were ordered to assist the damaged battle wagon and push her clear of the channel and beach her.||
Warren Jones sent this map to be included with his story. Click on the image to see a larger, more easily read version. It noted at the bottom: "Compiled from official sources." The Argonne was cited as A/G on the map.
I have frequently been asked, "What were your feelings during the attack?" In the heat of the action we were so busy I had no time to analyse my thoughts. We just did what we were trained to do. After the attack Lee A. Shannon, a radioman aboard the Argonne, took a moment to organize his thoughts in his diary: "What an unearthly, unbelievable incredible ghastly gory sight and sound! It just could not be possible! and yet there were the planes diving, there were flames, sinking ships, death all the while (was it minutes--hours?) and the Harbor was a fiery volcano of flames and concussions." These were my thoughts but I didn't record them as radioman Shannon did.
After being transferred from the Argonne in March of 1942, I spent approximately one year in the same area on a patrol ship patrolling the entrances of Honolula and Pearl Harbor.
In March of 1943 I was transferred 1/2 way around the world to the Second Beach Batallion. We trained in Algeria North Africa and participated in the invasions of Sicily and Italy. We then went to England to prepare for the D Day landing. At that time the Beach Battalion was reorganized and I was then stationed on a signal tower in Plymouth, England where I remained until the fall (Sept. or Oct) of 1944. At that time I was rotated back to the U.S. where I received my first leave in 2 1/2 years and I got acquainted with my family again.
Then it was back to sea duty in Dec. 1944. I was assigned to the U.S.S. Barnett A.P.A 5 (the crew affectionately called her the Barney Maru). On April Fool's Day, 1945 we were in the landing at Okinawa. We were there 9 days, suffered damage from a suicide plane and lost 12 crewmen. Due to the damage we returned to Todd Ship Yard in Seattle for repairs. This was the end of my four combat experiences in WW II.
1. Pearl Harbor
2. Sicilian Invasion
3. Invasion of Italy
4. Invasion of Okinawa
UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
U.S.S. ARGONNE, Flagship
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 8, l941
TO: ALL SHIPS PRESENT PEARL