A Survivor of Pearl Harbor

An article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicles, June 25, 1943


My father was at Pearl Harbor on his way to Guadalcanal, on the USS San Francisco, a heavy cruiser, when Pearl Harbor was bombed December 7th 1941. The ship he was on was not touched during the bombing. The reason for that was when the Japanese attacked, they saw no aircraft carriers and not knowing where they were they did not return for their second attack. The ship was refitted and out of port in ten days and continued to its original destination. The Carrier my father was intended to serve on was sunk by the Japanese so my father was stationed on a land base airfield at Guadalcanal.

My father was was a “90 day wonder” out of Pensacola, Florida, Flight Training School. He then was sent to Guadalcanal. He was able to shoot down four enemy aircraft sometime in the early months of 1943. The American pilots were flying Grumman F4F-4s. The newly trained American pilots were at a disadvantage against the experienced Japanese pilots. The Japanese planes had no amour plating such as the American did. This enabled the Japanese aircraft to out maneuver the American planes. The advantage the American planes had was once the did get lined up with a Japanese plane, it only took a few rounds and they went down.

After thirty eight years years of service in the United States Navy he retired as a Commander.