Friday, December 7, 2012

Bombing the Penn

I had two relatives who served aboard the Battleship, USS Pennsylvania, one of the ships attacked 71 years ago today at Pearl Harbor.


Cleveland "Cubie" Adams, my mother's first cousin, had just joined the Navy after serving in the CCC and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania. He was lucky the ship was in dry dock at the harbor so he was not aboard when the bombs fell. He had taken some other crew members to church that morning but returned as soon as he saw the planes and realized they were Japanese. Cubie had enlisted with a high school friend, Bridger Watson from Bradenton, Florida and they were both on the Penn. When Cubie got back aboard ship he found the body of Bridger with his midsection blown apart from shrapnel.

This photo shows the remains of the two Destroyers USS Cassin and USS Downes, that were in front of the Penn in the dock. The smoke coming from fires aboard the Penn is in the background.

The Pennsylvania crew did return fire that day but they lost 24 men dead and 14 missing. In subsequent WWII action she was credited with firing more rounds than any ship in US History.

My wife's uncle Reginald Glenn served aboard the Penn starting in 1944. He was still assigned to her in 1946 when they dropped Atomic Bombs on the ship to see the effect. I had written about that experience in an earlier story.

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