I met surviving USS Utah crew member, Pharmacist's Mate Lee B. Soucy in Hawaii during the 2001 commemorative anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Standing togethr at the Utah Memorial, we discovered a special link between us––on that Sunday morning exactly 60 years earlier, we were only a few hundred yards away from each other. The Japanese planes that flew at treetop level over my house nearby were the same planes that dropped deadly torpedoes on his ship.
Here are Lee's words describing that long-ago morning . . .
"I had just had breakfast and was looking out a porthole in sick bay when someone said, "What are all those planes doing up there on a Sunday?" Someone else said, "It must be those crazy Marines. They'd be the only ones out there maneuvering on a Sunday." When I looked up in the sky, I saw five or six jplanes starting their descent toward the hangers at Ford Island. I did not realize that this was not a drill.
"Even after I saw a huge fireball and cloud of black smoke rise from the hangers, and heard explosions, it still did not occur to me that these were enemy planes. It was too incredible––simply beyond imagination! Suddenly I felt the Utah lurch . . ."
(Sorry, that's all the space we have for Lee's story . . . my Pearl Harbor Child book features his complete story and many more.)