At first, everyone thought it was a piece of loose rigging slapping against the wrecked hull of the USS West Virginia. Bang. Bang. To the survivors on land, it was just another noise amid the carnage of Pearl Harbor a day after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. Like the sound of fireboats squirting water on the USS Arizona. Or the hammers chipping into the overturned hull of the Oklahoma. But they realized the grim truth the next morning, in the quiet dawn. Someone was still alive, trapped deep in the forward hull of the sunken battleship. Bang. Bang. The Marines standing guard covered their ears. There was nothing anyone could do. When salvage crews raised the West Virginia six months later, they found the bodies of three men huddled in an airtight storeroom: Ronald Endicott, 18; Clifford Olds, 20; and Louis "Buddy" Costin, 21. But the most haunting discovery was the calendar. Sixteen days had been crossed off in red pencil. The young sailors had marked their time, not knowing what had happened to their ship or that their country was at war.
There were 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers assigned to USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Of these 77 men, 62 were killed, and 23 sets of brothers died. Only one full set of brothers, Kenneth and Russell Warriner, survived the attack; Kenneth was away at flight school in San Diego on that day and Russell was badly wounded but recovered. Both members of the ship's only father-and-son pair, Thomas Augusta Free and his son William Thomas Free, were killed in action.
The Final Countdown is a 1980 alternate history science fiction film about a modern aircraft carrier that travels through time to the day before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. If the same movie were to be made today, the carrier would be transported back to 1977, just three years before the original movie was made. Here is the entire movie in regular quality, but my favorite scene in hd video but shitty sound. World War II ace-in-a-day Archie Donahue was one of the Zero pilots. The Zeroes, which were actually converted AT-6 Texans, were flying with the throttle to the stops and the F-14s were flying at stall speed -- note wings fully extended in most scenes. That was so they could get both aircraft in the same shot at the same time because remember, there was no CGI shit back then. And with the inactivation of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in 2012, the Nimitz -- the carrier featured in The Final Countdown -- is now the oldest American carrier in active service. [download in hd]
Among the drydocked ships in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard when the Japanese attacked was the destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373). Raised out of the water in the floating drydock YFD-2, along with the old harbor tug Sotoyomo (YT-9), Shaw attracted the unwelcome attention of several dive bombers of the second strike wave. These hit her with three bombs at about the same time as they were attacking the then-nearby battleship Nevada. These bombs all hit the forward portion of the ship. The resulting fires proved uncontrollable, and Shaw was ordered abandoned. As efforts were underway to flood the drydock about a half-hour after she was hit, Shaw's forward ammunition magazines detonated in a spectacular blast, completely removing her bow. The blast also punctured YFD-2 and Sotoyomo. Both soon sank, the drydock partially and the tug completely, leaving Shaw's after portion afloat, with an intense fire raging at its front.
Perhaps if this nice lady had been given a few fruitcakes for Christmas, she might still be alive because after all, a restraining order is just a piece of paper. So, you might ask, how many fruitcakes does it take to stop a .50 cal Desert Eagle? Well, there's only one way to find out. And if you're looking for a nice little $15 stocking stuffer? Might I suggest the Mag Lula UpLula universal magazine loader. It works on 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.
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