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    FCPOA host Pearl Harbor day of remembrance aboard USS Farragut

    ARABIAN GULF— The First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) brought the events of Pearl Harbor to reality for the Sailors serving on Farragut by narrating the timeline of events as they happened exactly at the time they happened on December 7, 78 years ago.

    First class petty officers read the events over the ship’s broadcasting system from 6 a.m-1 p.m focusing on when the Japanese aircraft took off from their carriers, when the aircraft were spotted by radar and later dismissed by the radio network operations center at Fort Shafter as friendly aircraft. From the breakdown of negotiations between the U.S. and Japan to the armor-piercing bomb that took the lives of 1,177 men on USS Arizona at 8:10.

    “In nine minutes, Arizona is on the bottom,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Jason Estep over the ship’s broadcasting system.

    The FCPOA continued to recount the events of the day with chilling detail. USS Nevada, the only battleship able to get underway intentionally grounding itself to avoid bottling up the narrow channel so that other ships might escape. The second wave of 35 fighters, 78 dive bombers and 54 high-altitude bombers that met heavy anti-aircraft fire from the survivors of the first attack. The third wave of Japanese fighters that never materialized because Japanese superiors didn’t know the whereabouts of the U.S. carriers, and after the attack was over, the total death toll of 2,390.

    “From the ships and airfields come the wounded, some horribly burned, others riddled by bullets and shrapnel,” said Retail Specialist 1st Class Efrain Santos during his reading over the ship’s broadcasting system. “Medics convert barracks, dining halls and schools into temporary hospitals. For many severely wounded and dying men, all nurses can do is give them morphine. A lipstick M on their foreheads to indicate the painkilling drug.”

    Throughout the presentation, the FCPOA alluded to future events of the Navy rallying and rising to the occasion.

    “In the 44 months of war that will follow, the U.S. Navy will sink every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers in the strike force that took part in the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Cody Rickard.

    Also mentioned was that every ship damaged in the attack, except Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma, sailed again, and USS West Virginia, one of the victims of Pearl Harbor, was in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

    “As time passes and generations grow older, we forget how traumatizing Pearl Harbor was for the service members and civilians involved,” said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Kenneth Mack. “This was the first time the United States was caught completely flat-footed. For Pearl Harbor this year, I wanted to do something more than a PowerPoint presentation. I wanted to remind the Sailors of Farragut that we’re operating in 5th Fleet and we need to remain vigilant to keep something like this from happening again.”

    Mack managed the day of remembrance for the FCPOA by conducting research on the timeline of Pearl Harbor and writing the scripts for each of his fellow first class petty officers to read for the Farragut crew.

    “The motto of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is ‘Remember Pearl Harbor, Keep America alert, Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” said Mack during his closing remarks to the crew. “As we operate at the tip of the spear, it demands that we be ready 24-7, to meet any threat to our American citizens, our allies and national interests. On this day as we remember Pearl Harbor and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe it to them and our friends and family back home to live up to Farragut’s motto and always strive to be prepared for battle.”

    Farragut is part of the East Coast Surface Action Group and is operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.



    Date Taken: 12.07.2019
    Date Posted: 12.10.2019 08:40
    Story ID: 354703
    Location: ARABIAN GULF

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