Skip to main content

tv   Open Phones with Paul Travers  CSPAN  December 26, 2016 5:32pm-6:25pm EST

5:32 pm
investigations, military and congressional investigations, producing hundreds of volumes of testimony. so we really have gotten to the point where we understand very clearly what happened, why it happened, what were the decisions in japan, what were the effects, all of that? we parse and we get to the point where we can say now we understand what happened and we understand really even better in a sense than the men who were there and fought the battle. but by gaining this clarity in hindsight we inevitably begin to lose touch with the kind of immediate sense of shock and horror and the kind of volcanic wrath that results from an event like that. to try to get in touch again with the way it felt to those who were on the receiving end is important because that shock, the intensity of that shock, the horror, the anger that results from it, that partly explains why pearl harbor is such an
5:33 pm
important event in our history. >> ian toll, the hour has gone by too fast. the book is "pacific crucible: war at sea in the pacific 1941 to 1942". ian toll, once again thank you. >> bill, thanks for having me on the program. >> you're looking at pictures of survivor of the pearl harbor attack from the 75th anniversary ceremony out in hawaii this past sense, december 7th. according to the national park service figures quoted in the "wall street journal" there were about 100 survivors on hand for wednesday's event. by the way, you can watch the full ceremony in its entirety tonight at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span 3. we are going to continue to take your calls for about another 50 minutes or so. we have three ways for you to join the conversation, we also welcome our c-span radio listeners. the phone lines for you this morning 202-748-8900 for those of you in the eastern rand central time zones, mountain and
5:34 pm
pacific time zones 202-748-8901 and for world war ii veterans your line is 202-748-8902. we also welcome your comments on twitter, send us a twe tweet @cspanhistory and post your facebook comments at joining us this morning is paul travers who is the author of "iowans to infamy: an oral history of pearl harbor, december 7, 1941" which includes many accounts from more than 200 interviews with pearl harbor veterans. paul travers, welcome. thanks for being here. >> it's my pleasure to be here. more important, it's an honor to be here to pay tribute to the men and women of pearl harbor and that's what i did in the book through these narratives. >> your book, your interest in the book starts with stories your dad told you when you were growing up. take us back to 1979, you start to broaden that out. you put ads in the newspaper
5:35 pm
looking for pearl harbor veterans. what prompted that? >> well, here i am 1979, i'm approaching 30 years old, so i'm a college graduate with an english degree, a minor in american history and i guess the dream of every english or journalism major is to write a book and i love books so i thought, well, you write what you know about. just my father's stories, you know, they weren't -- he always referred to himself just as an eyewitness not a survivor and his story was very mundane, he really didn't go into detail like most of the pearl harbor survivors. so i thought let me try to expand on this. i took out a small classified ad in the philadelphia inquirer, "the new york times," the "washington post," of course the baltimore sun and it was probably one of those little type poe classifieds buried deep inside the classified ads and to my surprise i got a pretty good
5:36 pm
response, you know, people that were interested in being interviewed and documenting the oral history of pearl harbor. and then in 1980 my father, who was at schofield barracks with the 27th infantry regiment he comes homes and tells me that he met myrtle watts. to my the first lady of pearl harbor. she was an army nurse at schofield -- i'm sorry -- yeah, at schofield station hospital. so he says, well, myrtle is willing to tell you her story and what a compelling story myrtle had. >> back in 1979 oral histories were not that common so you start into this effort. what did you do? did you write things down? did you record people? >> both. >> yeah. >> yeah, what you just said is probably -- i'm not the pioneer of oral histories for pearl harbor, but because back then i did some research, there weren't a lot of books on oral histories
5:37 pm
of pearl harbor and i thought maybe i have a good topic here. i was the first one probably to see it through to the end to actually come up and compile an oral history book with narratives from pearl harbor survivors. once my contact, myrtle watson, she was actively involved with the pearl harbor survivors association. so she opened the door to me for that chapter and they vouched more me with the national association and that really opened the floodgates allowing me to collect on a mountain of oral histories. >> you write in the book you were fascinated as a child particularly by your dad's pearl harbor stories. why do you think that one battle has been -- stayed so important in the minds of the veterans that you interviewed? clearly many of them went on to other battles and other things during the war. >> yes, they did. in speaking with all the pearl harbor veterans and survivors, their main theme is to remember
5:38 pm
pearl harbor, to keep america alert. that's probably the mantra you will hear off everyone's lips. because it was a surprise attack, you know, their theme is keep america vigilant. that's what it's all about to the pearl harbor survivors. let's not let this happen again and it did happen again at 9/11. you know, there is a lot of parallels there. not exactly the same situation, but, yeah, we always have to keep vigilance to defend our free tomorrow's here. >> you come to this with some military experience yourself, correct? >> yes, i do. i was in the marine corps back in the mid '70s. again, i attributed part of my father's legacy as the son of a pearl harbor survivor. you know, he was a role model, my brother and i both served in the military, my brother in the army, i went into the marine corps. >> a lot of us had dads and grandfathers that served in world war ii. wouldn't, say a thing about things they did and here you
5:39 pm
were able to get people to open up to you. why do you think that was? >> i think the main reason was i told them i wanted to tell a human interest story. i'm not specifically looking into heroics in the battle, i want to show the human side of the pearl harbor experience and i think that i accomplished that because the first narrative i have is william showen. what a great job he had, he's out backpacking, hiking, surveying the islands. i end with melvin faulkner burying the dead. >> why did you make that first one, that particular individual. >> it kind of set the scene for oahu as a tropical paradise. vacation land. when my dad finally enlisted, to him it was like all expense paid vacation to hawaii. of course, there was, you know, a year later it turned into a
5:40 pm
nightmare for him and the other pearl harbor veterans. >> our guest is paul travers, the book is "eyewitness to infamy, an oral history of pearl harbor, december 7, 1941", it was originally published in 1991 on the 50th anniversary, correct? >> correct. >> after that did many more veterans contact you? >> yes, after the book was first published in '91 i had a number of veterans contacted me and i went out and i got their narratives and i said there's no guarantees, you know, that they will be an update to the book and i guess good karma, maybe the angels of pearl harbor were looking out for me, but two years ago i got a letter from the publisher, this was after the book went out to print a few years ago, and they said we're interested in doing an update for the 75th, would you be interested in doing an update and i jumped at the chance because it was an opportunity to update many of the people that i had interviewed in the book and add some new ones. >> how many new ones did you add into this new updated edition.
5:41 pm
>> i believe there was four total and i mentioned some other people who have probably been on a lot of the national news lately, like lauren bruner and don stratton. >> don stratton. yeah. >> they get by lines in the book for their heroics, i guess their escape from the battleship arizona. >> we have calls waiting for you. let's hear from andrew is in college park, maryland, for paul travers. go ahead. >> caller: okay. look, i saw this documentary and i know people must have seen t it was evidently a documentary about when they were just inventing radar. okay? and they pointed out -- they had just created radar and it worked. okay? and they had all these stations of radar out in the pacific and they were watching this and they saw all these planes coming towards pearl harbor from japan. the people that ran the radar station knew exactly -- or they saw it and all their bosses tell
5:42 pm
them, stand down, we are not paying attention to this, it's new technology and so it just seems so funny, you know. and then they say the same things oftentimes with these other attacks. people tried to let the law enforcement know that they had information. now, i guess it's a miracle when they foil these attacks because they claim to have foiled many, many attacks and i'm sure they have, but it's just so funny how the human intelligence or whatever it is doesn't keep up with the technology. >> did we miss things on radar that morning? >> no. joe lockhart and george elliott were manning the radar station at opana point. they saw the planes coming in, relayed the message back to head quartz and it was dismissed as the b-17s that were flying in from california. i believe some of the historians referenced to earlier in the week on various shows was we knew the japanese fleet was on the move, but we didn't know
5:43 pm
where. and it took everybody by surprise that they were sailing across the northern pacific and eventually launched the attack probably about 250 miles north of oahu. yeah, the caller mentioned human intelligence, you know, technology doesn't fail in these events, it's human intelligence that fails. same thing with the condor response of the submarine off the entrance of pearl harbor. of course, the ward goes up and sinks the submarine. really the message is relayed back to, you know, sink pack headquarters and it's lost in the paperwork. >> they have just recently discovered some of that submarine, correct, or remnants of it, rather. >> yes, they did. as a matter of fact, they actually believe that a couple of the submarines got inside the submarine net at pearl harbor and actually inflicted damage on the battleship oklahoma. >> let's hear from bill next, he's in muskegon, michigan. on the line for paul travers.
5:44 pm
go ahead. >> caller: yes. the question that i have is i was in the navy and i'm a retired and i've been to the arizona monument two times and what surprised me was the number of people who had last names. did that bring on the sullivan brothers disaster? >> in particular, bill, what's your question about that? >> my question is how did it happen that the arizona had so many people with the last name be on one ship? did they actually have to have the sullivan brother incident change that? >> yes, i believe it was the sullivan brother incident that changed that because prior to that aboard these battle ships -- because you had a large contingency of men, you know,
5:45 pm
1300, 1,500 men plus aboard these ships and a lot of times you had brothers and you had cousins who served aboard the same ship together. so, yeah, to answer your question, yeah, there were a lot of relatives aboard the ships, these battle ships and that's why you see a lot of the same names on the monuments, whether it be the arizona or the oklahoma. >> i have a question about the utah on facebook. by the way, if you want to send us a comment on facebook post it at this is a comment about the utah from david who says that i recently found something about december 7th, 1941, that kind of disturbs me. we all know about the arizona and the monument to honor all those men who died in her sinking. did you know that there is another battleship that was sunk on december 7th, 1941, with 59 men trapped in it? the u.s.s. utah.
5:46 pm
it is still at the bottom of pearl harbor with those 59 men still inn tumd but it is being allowed to rust and deteriorate into a heap of steel unrecognizable as a ship of any kind let alone a battleship. paul writes to me this is a travesty, those men need to be brought to the surface and honored with a burial site. >> to a certain extent i agree with him, to a certain extent not because with the utah you have a similar situation with the arizona. so many men were trapped inside, there was no chance of getting men out of the arizona or utah without, you know, casualties among the yard workers or the navy rescue personnel. ships like the west virginia, which lost a large number of men and had men trapped inside, you know, they could raise that ship but the value of the utah was
5:47 pm
basically nil because it was an outdated battleship mainly used as a target ship, all the guns were covered over on deck. so it was probably best, yeah, to leave it as-is as a memorial to those men because they knew the men -- who they were inside. now, the situation with the oklahoma when they raised the ship a year later they couldn't identify the remains. it's a little different situation and now they're actually -- with the forensic technology and forensics actually through dna they are starting to identify the sailors that were aboard the oklahoma and bringing them back home for a proper burial and closure for the family. >> you started gathering your oral history stories in 1979, you started the project, your first edition is published in 1991. when did you first get to pearl harbor? when did you first see it and what was your reaction when you finally saw it for the first time? >> i was in pearl harbor back in 1974, '75 time frame. and, you know, that visit
5:48 pm
probably -- because i went and did all the historic sites, you know, because i had the connection with my father. >> yeah. >> that was probably the catalyst that said, you know, look into this just a little further and see what you can do and that's probably, you know, where there's the seed for the book was germinated back on that trip to hawaii in 1974. >> what year did your dad passed away? >> my dad passed away in 2009. i kind of refer to him as the poster boy of the pearl harbor survivors and the greatest generation. if you read his narrative it doesn't tell the whole story because that's one of the part of the deals i had to do with these pearl harbor survivors, i could not tell the whole story to them was what they did after pearl harbor. >> sure. >> and they deferred recognition to the other people, their other -- whether it be, you know, bunk mates, ship mates, soldiers, sailors, especially
5:49 pm
those who paid a higher price than they did where they made the supreme sacrifice or they were actually wounded. my dad was actually wounded fighting alongside the marines at polu and that ended his military career. he spent a couple years and was discharged from valley forge hospital in 1947, married the girl of his dreams he met when he was on leave at home during the war and turned this war machine into the economic machine that built america. >> our guest is paul travers his book is "eyewitness to infamy an oral history of pearl harbor" and the many stories he has collected over the years. i want to show you some of the oral histories that have been gathered by the national park service. >> we saw the arizona when they hit it and it lifted that ship clear out of the water and then it took about seven minutes for
5:50 pm
it to sink, completely sink, but the worst part of all was all the crewmen that was on those ships was trying to get get off because they were all burning, but they was little hesitant about jump ng that burning sea, also. because everything was a fire in the sea, too. poor fellas would jump off in that burning water and most of them never did make it to shore. the ones that didn't make it to shore, we personally witnessed it. they were burnt so bad that the skin was fall iing off their fa and their buttocks and falling off their whole body, just like you dipped them in grease or something. you never heard such screaming in all your life.
5:51 pm
just like hell on earth i guess. during the second wave, the fellas, they did a marvelous job. it was a miracle, the way they got everything together because had no guns. they were locked up in the, in the cellar over there. but those fellas on those ships, bless them, they, they stood there until they all got killed. >> i went, i just port side about half a day, got out there, i looked, i couldn't believe that the smoke and the rumbling and the machine guns going and explosions and all and here come the fire in the water and the
5:52 pm
oil coming from the west virginia and the arizona, which was right behind us. and kids 17 years old, i was scared to death. standing there watching that oklahoma roll over. a battleship rolling over and all the guys that are on there, scared to death. then seeing all the oil and the water and the fire. and we could see the west virginia, california was ahead of us and she was sitting at the bottom. worst day of my life.
5:53 pm
>> had dropped a torpedo. i could see it land and go toward the battleship and the airplane, instead of going up and getting hit by it, the aircraft turned around and hugged the surface of the water. about ten yards above the water. i said wow, must be a japanese airplane. i was very angry. i said, what, after i realized it was a japanese airplane, i said what am i going to hear. they're killing a lot of american soldiers. i'm an american, too. they're killing me fellow citizens. >> i still recall seeing torpedos hitting the battleships
5:54 pm
and geysers every time a torpedo would hit. a geyser 3 or 400 feet high would, watt r e would spring up. i still can't put it out of my mind. what i seen happen that day. beyond description in many respects. it was plain hell. paul, it's difficult to listen to some of those stories from those men. how hard was it for you to sit and interview them and hear some of them? >> some of it was very, very difficult. i sit here and have goose bumps on my arms from some of these stories. i guess the real impact of it was when i got home and started transcribing the stories to put them down on paper.
5:55 pm
you have an opportunity to not only read the lines, between the lines, you realize what an emotional roller coaster these men and women were on. book's published and you sit and read it again, it's like, these are some amazing stories ordinary people and extraordinary times that did extraordinary things. >> his book is eyewitness to infamy. welcome your call us. and send us a tweet at cspan history. to joe in weaverville, north carolina. >> yes, my question is when they first come in, they hit quiller airfield. wondered how many planes were destroyed and how many lives was lost at quiller field. >> wheeler field.
5:56 pm
>> that was the part of the battle plan was to take out the airfields. the exact numbers at wheeler field, i don't have. what i do know, the number of planes that we lost were almost equal to the number of japanese planes that launched their attack and we lost roughly 190 planes were destroyed. and there was probably another 160 planes that were damaged, so you add those up, it was 360 planes and those two that were launch frd the japanese carriers, so yeah, you know, the devastation of battleship road, that was a big blow to the naval fleet, but also you know, the japanese had a sound battle plan, they took out the airfields and basically just eliminated air force that we had there. >> next up the russell in river fall, wisconsin. go ahead. >> hello, paul. >> hello. >> lieutenant colonel russell nelson, u.s. army retired.
5:57 pm
>> oh, i know russell nelson. it's a pleasure to hear your voice again. >> congratulations on the reissue. if you recall, you gave me a copy of the book for a retirement gift! yes, i did. >> i read it several years ago. it should become one of the standard works on pearl harbor. i think with the reissue, it will. and just wondering, i don't recall reading any of the boat survivors, pt squadron two was there and knocked down two japanese aircraft. did you interview any of those fellas? >> no, i did not. that was one aspect where i did not get any narrative. i tried to present the whole spectrum of events at pearl harbor and i was beating the bushes if for people like you said, the pt boats, but i had no luck with that, russ. >> my dad was pt boater, so a little commercial there.
5:58 pm
one final question. day of the seat by robert stinnett, i think the it's brill yabti can't. do you have any comment? ? which deals with -- >> everything leading up. all the classify material that never got to shore. >> we knew there was going to be an tack. we had broken the japanese military and diplomatic codes. the warning was sent to -- short on november 27th. so they knew it. it was a state of readiness. not a state of war. and i found it ironic that this war warning was sent november 27th and the japanese fleet had sailed for hawaii on november 26th.
5:59 pm
so, yeah, i believed that until you know some hard evidence comes first person account of saying classified information was way late. once the wheels of fate that get put into motion, look back to hindsight, it's always 20-20. we could have done better with our intelligence. >> since your location in 1991, the advent obviously, growth of the internet and facebook and research through google, wikipedia, have you mothere's me information that's come to light particularly on the japanese side of things that's caused you to go back and revisit some of the stories you've publisheded previously? >> no. from the american side, i would say no. from the japanese side, i think over the years, probably since the 50th, there's been more
6:00 pm
information about japanese plans, but from the american side, i don't think there's been that much new information revealed other than say for instance, the oklahoma. that couldn't have been done by a dive bomb e, a bigger weapon. the submarines had come to pearl harbor. >> former marine and maryland graduate. you're a master of arts at pepperdine. master of business. you spent part of your career as a historian for the maryland parks service! that led to a book called baltimore's river of history. seems like where f they plant me, i find a seed somewhere. historical interest that eventually generals my interest and lucky enough, there's been two books there. zpl here's martin in bernie,
6:01 pm
texas. welcome. >> i had a question earlier, if you had interviewed earlier, a gentleman got a book signed and my wife when i played golf with him in 1980, he built in the '30s, the tanks in the mountains above pearl harbor. his name was jim carras and he was on the hawaii highway depart i meant anymore 1980. the japanese if they were really wise, they would have bombed our fuel facilities and i had the pleasure i'm retired navy captain, civil engineer corps, severed served in guam in the '50s. i had a reserve trip in the late '70s, went threat tanks when they were being repaired and sandblasted and restored. they were top secret as far as i
6:02 pm
was concerned in the '50s, but any way, when i got going back the to chicago i worked for gentlemen, one was at schofield bare rick, a second lieutenant, gordon ray and another who ended up in the air force an engineer, written up in aggies. roy gillette, he died may 12th in 2006, a year to the day i moved to tex. i've live there had 12 years now. what are the chances of a young guy getting off active duty and working for two guys from pearl boar, one a hero that's written up in the aggie's book. did you ever investigate or talk to anybody that had the experience that this jim carras would have had regarding building those secret fuel facilities? >> no. i'm not familiar with mr. carras. with the, when we were with him,
6:03 pm
maybe, at least 25 years ago, right, but that's interesting part of the pearl harbor story. was if the there was a flaw in the japan need tactical battle plan. fuel tanks. also, the dry dock. that was a major flaw. the navy and the civilian worker, they could resurrect the fle fleet. >> how quickly did the fleet restore usable sea craft? >> anywhere from a year to two years before they were refit te
6:04 pm
it was a long time without the battleship. there were new ships being built that time. i guess they may have been obsolete by the team they were in action, but they served well in the pacific, but then you had new battleships coming up that were bigger, more fire power to take their place. that got really the economic engine. >> did you talk to some of the civilian workers in your book? >> yes, i did. they had the same attitude as the northern people. we are here to do a job. no me, only me in this harbor.
6:05 pm
>> to bernie. >> i think my question was answered. to be clear. there was a war alert that went out. didn't know where there wey wer going to attack. did he sign off on it, did he receive that alert and if he did, he did nothing ab it as in the people who, anything coming in has to be b a report, was he a court marshall for this? >> we talked a little bit about kimmel, but a little in response to this question. >> yes, they received the war warning.
6:06 pm
>> many historians, short and kimmel were scapegoats. they were reduced and ranked. and forced to resign in disgrace, basically. general short passed away after that. some people say he died of f f broken heart. there was no court marshall findings for negligence or misconduct in the line of duty, but basically, that's kind of what they were saying, someone had to be blamed for the attack. >> and efforts had been made in congress over the years to clear his name postmousily. >> and they have those resolutions and fallen short. didn't get enough votes to pass
6:07 pm
to restore jordan kimmel in the ranks. >> our guest is paul travers. you have an introduction you republish by retired admiral who writes in part in his introduction, you will find no mock heroics here. people act like people, clearly displaying the comrade ship and gender in military service along with the normal gripes. and whole system diversity of our country men. tell us about who he is and how you found him. >> he is a naval engine. here's the story. i had the book tfinished u. all the admirals and generals who were high rank at that time, they're gone.
6:08 pm
i said do you know anybody? he started laughing. he's got the that grin on his face and he says, i got a name for you. admiral kemp holland. he lives here you. just down the road from where you live. he is a small inner circle and doesn't suffer like myself. that was the joke. week later, i get a phone call. come on down and see me. i'd tlik talk to you. so, we went down and spoke and the admiral, you have to read story. he believes he was for the
6:09 pm
japanese to get us into the war. i call him the old swash buckler. he was doing reconnaissance. >> war breaks out, he's given orders to sale. sail. they're being chased by the japanese now throughout the western pacific. 4,000 miles and three months later, they show up in australia. it was his, quite a gallant individual. >> oral histories, in his book, eyewitness to infamy and the
6:10 pm
national parks service has over the year, done the same thing. collecting video eyewitness stories to pearl harbor. more calling come up, but first, a look at some of those stories from december 7th, 1941. >> they were difficult to take care of. a lot of them were badly burned. a lot in oily waters and had to push water away was burning above them, so they come up, take a breath and go obaback an stroke. >> a lot of time, we didn't have beds for them. just put them in a floor in a hallway until we had space to put them. tried to put sheets down and what not to make them comfortable. but just wasn't enough space in them. you couldn't get the stench off your body and clothes!
6:11 pm
on t. >> on the first day, we'd try to keep them the best we could. >> and if they were serious, you'd give them a shot of morphine and p put a name on their forehead so wouldn't get it twice or too quick. it was only supposed to be b ef four hours. if you had a tourniquet on them, you would put a t on their forehead, so you wouldn't bandage over it and if they were really bad and we know they were bad and they weren't going to make it, we just didn't put the m on their forehead. just moved them into the lanai. where they'd be comfortable. >> there was all this soil underwater that transferred thos fires from one ship to the other. it was really terrible. they long to the different ships, but they had been trying
6:12 pm
to get people from a shore to their ships who had been out the night before. there were a lot of sailors blown into the water and they were trying to pick them up. there were so many different things demanding their attention, they just all these different jobs as best they could. >> we finally got out to the anthony. i think the first thing we saw was a bunch of ashes. i can't stop them, i don't have dust pan or nothing. just sort of sank down and said a few tears. a lot of the men, these little piles of ashes because the ship burning so long, so hot.
6:13 pm
>> we had hundreds of bodies floating around in battleship row. and off the utah and all around the bay and so, they'd go out with hooks and bring them over to this dock. first, they were try iing to identify them by their names on their shorts because you their name stitched along their shorts and t-shirt, then they reality raelzed that somebody might have somebody else's shorts. then dennis would take down their all their teeth and everything. maybe a plan with their teeth so, that's how they identified them. >> they were buried in wooden caskets and they were too small for them. we were pulling bodies out of
6:14 pm
the water. and getting all types of recoveries. and many of the bodies wouldn't fit in the coffins, so we had to do whatever we had too to get the body in there. >> several mortgage wares rnd there, but not enough coffins for hundreds of guys, were killed, so he started making these coffins out of any lumber they could get. trz just to make coffins, but they had this one with with a big written in red aacross is side of it that said body parts only. >> oral histories on pearl harbor. our guest is paul, who has his own book about pearl harbor. >> very emotional. i have two gentlemen, melvin bacon and melvin faulkner. bacon was aboard the utah.
6:15 pm
after he jumped overboard, swam to ft. island, next day, he's -- one of the toughest things in his life. he said the only time he ever cried during the war was when they took a break one time after i think the gentleman just kr described, they had to stuff the bodies into these pine caskets. they're taking a break, then hear taps drifting over this makeshift cemetery. he said that was the only time that he cried during the war. pret touching stories. >> a number of calls waiting. kevin in hillsdale, illinois. go ahead. >> thank you, sir. i'm very fortunate. i was an early babe b by boomer and i happen to have teachers and professors of history that throughout textbooks at time and i followed their lead. what i'm curious about is that it's my perspective that
6:16 pm
throughout the years, eve back when i was in school, pearl harbor was in school, the battleships and ships this were destroyed and how the fuel tanks were left and theiers were out. as history's gone by, political correctness and everything, the it's almost a forgot with youngsters. if you ask them do you know about pearl harbor. a lot of them will say yeah. i was just wondering what your thoughts were on that situation. the textbook companies and i know it's got to do with political correctness, but what are your thoughts? >> i agree with you.
6:17 pm
pearl harbor has been passed over to a certain extent. if there's one thing about a collection of oral histories, it connects us with our history, our heritage, but most importantly, our humanity. they read the stories. might not be a history bookworm, but open a portal, you find something interesting and investigate that. before you know it, it's like connecting. it for you. you realize the sacrifice these men and women went through. when i read the narrative of people trapped in ships, it should be a lesson. in every american classroom. that's for sure. myrtle watson, the army nurse, first lady of pearl harbor, her narrative was so compelling. the it was used in a world war
6:18 pm
ii text pook. there was yeah, wasn't comple completely forgotten. largely overlooked by a lot of americans. >> let's hear from california. >> nice to talk to you. toipt know how many bah l ships that were raised other than the three we know about. the arizona, the utah, the oklahoma. i had been raced museums today, we have the uss iowa up in northern california, but it's down in san pedro at the museum now. so i was wondering to your knowledge how many that have been raised are at museums today in the united states? >> none. >> the arizona and utah are still there.
6:19 pm
the oklahoma, 100 being toed back. >> it sunk on the way back. >> in the '50s. >> what's the fate of that. now, the only rehaning warship that was on the island on december 7th 1941 is the coast guard cutter. which is birthed in downtown baltimore. then there is one other ship. it is the tortoga. that was just recently wrereno e
6:20 pm
renovated. those are the last with two ships. type in yard the tug and read about these. where's the museum? >> little rock. >> hi, roy. >> thank you for this con vering sags. i have two things to comment on. understand that the japanese did not bomb the fuel tanks for fear of smoke. of scaring targets in the harbor. my second question is i understand that most of the film, both moving and still went down with the japanese. went down with the carrier at mid way.
6:21 pm
that's correct on both parts of the question. then there was after the two ariel attacks t commanders wanted to launch a third attack and yamamoto said no. probably most of the bulk of film went down when the carriers went to the bottom of the sea at the battle of midway. >> just a tiny frac of some of the the film. earlier in the program, you can see that in our video library, too. let's go to jerry in atlantic city. >> i have the revisit the issue of the two commanders at the
6:22 pm
pearl harbor station on december 7. husband kimmel and walter short. i remember doing a research paper when i was a freshman in college. following the incident in pearl harbor. the standard operation of a significant nature was that upon receipt, those messages had to be transmitted directly to the war department. for decoding. and then for analysis. and then as needed communications back to the stations in question with instructions. i always felt there was an omission in that procedure yur and wanted to know whether you
6:23 pm
had anything more to add to o this issue. particularly in light of fact that you mentioned in your previous comments, that the two had to be scapegoated. >> there was a breakdown in the process of classified information. they knew war was imminent. on the weekend, tropical paradise. both of the soldiers and sailors, they're coming back from a night in town.
6:24 pm
the book is eyewitness to inifmy. the guest is paul travers. >> it's been my pleasure. i would like to say as we take the final step with these survivors before they fade from our memories, their voices will always resognate loudly. we have to remember, remember pearl harbor. i thank you for the opportunity to be here today. >> thank you. >> on the morning of december 7th, 1941, warplanes from six japanese aircraft carriers attacks the island of ohau in hawaii. targeting the u.s. fleet at pearl harbor. next, the us navy and national parks service mark


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on