“A day that shall live in Infamy!”
A warm Sunday morning; about 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. Church bells, laughter a day of peace and rest. My dad, A.C. Weatherly Jr. is shaving and about to step ashore but on this day that would not happen. Klaxons Sounded, Squawk Box Screamed, Air Raid Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
A crash of steel upon steel, ripped, screaming from forces not meant to be; Main deck, deck plates, deck after deck and into the mud below. A deafening Roar as the torpedo detonates. The hull rises, falls and lists. USS Raleigh (CL-7) became an early casualty at Pearl Harbor that Day. Round One.
Damage control underway. Gaping holes and torn seams shored for now. Then, impact Two… this time horizontal as the an armor piercing bomb slams through bulkheads. Some survivors there but below decks, not a pretty site. The fight goes on.
Retrospective- Courageous acts by officers and men saved most souls on board. She was kept afloat by jettisoning everything not permanently attached; barges supported, pumps counter-flooded and breaches were shored. Raleigh made it and survived for the duration. Just one ship that day out of many. Our Navy’s greatest loss for a time. Life and Fight go on.
After that we were honored to have dad home again.
Peace is won through strength.
Vigilance must never fail. Thanks to that Greatest Generation, so few now but always honored and yet we pay tribute and go on to fight our wars and win the peace for future generations.
Link below is Raleigh in 1942, ready for action: