(url for the pearl harbor attack picture)

The attack was sudden and swift. Many of the soldiers were unaware of an attack until they heard the bombs for themselves. I was down in the barracks spit shining my boots when I heard a loud boom. The sirens blared for the men to go to their battle stations, and all at once hundreds of feet began to echo through out the hull. I followed, one of many in the swarm of frightened, nervous, anxious faces. We were greeted on the top deck by a barrage of shrapnel, as bombs exploded all around us, sending bits of our ship whizzing past us. Several of the soldiers screamed in agonizing pain as the razor sharp, hot pieces of metal pierced their skin. There was no time to help them, reluctantly I rushed to man one of the many anti-aircraft guns on the ship. "Fire at will!!!" boomed a loud dominant voice over the explosions. I waited to receive the signal that the gun was loaded. Never in all my life had a few seconds felt like a lifetime. Once the signal was given, I quickly pulled the triggers and was shaken to the core as the gun came to life and sprayed the oncoming planes with bullets. "Reload!!" I cried as loud as I could. A high pitch ringing echoed through both my ears, once again the gun was loaded and I pulled the triggers without hesitation. This time success! I saw one of the Japanese planes spiral out of the sky, a pitch black tail of smoke inking the sky behind it, crash into the harbor. My heart started pounding, adrenalin rushing through my veins. I never would have known that this short of time in the Navy and already i would be shooting down enemy planes. After I shot down the first one I became engulfed in a frenzy, my vision narrowed and all I could see was the little area inside the cross hair of the gun. Everything was vivid, crystal clear, I could clearly make out each individual rivet on the planes. My focus only grew as I kept shooting down more enemy planes. Suddenly a loud series of clicking sounds, the gun was empty. I called for a reload, when out of the corner of m eye I saw it approaching fast. A blur in the front followed by dark gray wings. "Hit the deck!!!!" I yelled and dropped onto the deck. It was hotter than I expected it to be, the mixture of bombs, blood, and sun must have heated it. My thoughts were disrupted by the sound of metal tearing on metal, the planes gunners were shooting at us. Many soldiers screamed, I looked up just in time to get sprayed by the blood of the man in charge of reloading the gun. I jumped to my feet eager to get back into the fight, when a bomb sent me into the harbor. I was confused, which way do I swim, how do I swim? I was relieved when I saw the last plane fly out to the horizon. I noticed a small group of soldiers standing on a section pf submerged metal, the words Oklahoma barley visible under the murky blood stained water. With every ounce of strength I had left, I swam towards it and offered the them my help. We proceeded to cut open the hull of the ship in an attempt to free the sailors trapped inside. Sparks danced past my head as the metal was being cut, finally an opening, no time to make it any bigger. I grasped the jagged edges and pulled with all my might, every inch I managed to move, was an inch the metal dug deeper into my hands. Dark, shadowy frightened faces stared at us from below the hull, one by one they were slowly lifted out and they either saw for shore or found floating pieces of debris to rest on. I looked down at my hands, bloody and burnt from the sharp heated metal of the hull, the sensation of pain was no there, instead was a feeling of satisfaction, of knowing that lives were saved.Stephen Bower Young, a mess cook on the Oklahoma, sat besides me(Ordinary Americans pg190). We talked of memories before the this attack happened, of what awaited us when we got back to shore. We talked for hours, at least it felt like hours, not that time mattered in this harbor anymore. Time was frozen, the seconds did not pass, the months would not turn to years, the seasons would not pass, no, not here. To us, to me, to future generations who look out into this harborit will always remain December 7, 1941.
Attack at Pearl Harbor, 1941," EyeWitness to History, (1997).


"attack on pearl harbor" 21 Oct. 2006. Youtube. 19 Mrch 2009 <>

Monk, Linda R. Ordinary Americans, Close Up Foundation, 1997.