The ‘hero ship’ of Pearl Harbor
(Editor’s note: In the course of his experience as a veteran, former Port St. Lucie Mayor Robert Minsky has received articles, letters, clippings and other documents from friends and acquaintances about various wartime experiences. He has graciously shared some of these with Veteran Voice. Following are accounts of the USS Nevada and its role in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.)
One of the overlooked facets of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is the performance of the crew of the USS Nevada.
The average age of the 1,400 crew members of the Nevada was 19 ½ years old. Fifteen officers above the rank of ensign were assigned, and there were 105 ensigns.
By happenstance, the only officer above the rank of ensign on the ship at the commencement of the attack was a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve, who was actually “standing by” for the assigned “Officer with the Day’s Duty.”
When the attack began, the Officer of the Deck was a 21-year-old ensign less than a year out of the Naval Academy, and the Junior Officer of the Deck was a 19-year-old, newly commissioned ensign in the Naval Reserve.
Both were wounded shortly after the attack began.
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