By Richard L. Weatherly
Sunday morning, December 7th, 1941 began like so many others on the beautiful island of Oahu. After a busy week of patrols and training exercises, U.S.S. Raleigh docked on the northwest side of Ford Island. Officers and crew not on duty had gone ashore or were planning rest and relaxation on the beach. At 0755, my Dad, A.C. Weatherly, stared at himself in the mirror while shaving, a final step before going ashore himself. His expression changed from calm to alarm when a torpedo dropped from a Japanese plane slammed amidships on the port side.
The ships klaxon sounded announcing General Quarters, “General quarters, general quarters. All hands man your battle stations.” This wasn’t a drill. Within five minutes, Raleigh anti-aircraft batteries opened fire with three-inch, 1-inch, and .50 caliber guns. Raleigh gunners recorded several downed enemy aircraft. All crewmen not on damage control parties or manning the guns were ordered to assist the gunners by passing ammunition.