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U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

December 7, 2011 by staff 

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, When we launched McLean Patch a year ago today, we published the story below. We bring it to you again because we think it captures the heroism, sacrifice and horror of World War II.

Edward W. Gosselin, 24, a U.S. Navy Reserve ensign, told his folks about his new promotion aboard the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 1, 1941.

He wrote them that he was now a division officer in charge of 90 men who ran the boilers, hydraulic machinery and fuel supply for one American’s mightiest battleships. He’d sent his mom a lei for her birthday.

Three days later he was in rough seas writing his youngest brother Jack. Lots of advice about college. Then this: “The war situation looks a little tense right now, particularly out here in the Pacific. I do not think, however, that we will see any action in the near future. Japan seems to be playing the old game of doing a little bluffing and I think she’ll back down a long way before going to war . . . I think most of us out here would just as soon see a little excitement and get it over with.”

Four days later, Ed Gosselin, was dead. One of 1,177 sailors killed when the Japanese sunk the Arizona. It was Sunday, Dec. 7, 194, 69 years ago today. The Japanese attacked ? Pearl Harbor with 181 planes. In the first hour they had sunk three of the eight battleships and damaged all of them.

That smashing Japanese victory hurled the United States into World War II —raging in Asia since 1937 and in Europe since 1939.

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