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USS ARIZONA

December 7, 2010 by staff 

USS ARIZONA, Sixty-nine years after the Japanese landed their bombs on Pearl Harbor a surprise attack early in the morning; Scott Coulson La Quinta can still remember details of that terrible day. I think about it a long time,” said Coulson, 92.

Coulson was aboard the USS West Virginia, moored alongside the USS Tennessee on Battleship Row – a row of berths in deep water next to Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The unfortunate USS Arizona was attached directly behind Tennessee.

“They were after battleships,” he said. “They were the target.” I had just finished breakfast,” he said. “I took about 10 steps to the table when the first torpedo hit.” “They started yelling,” headquarters! “And the men rushed to their battle stations assigned. Mine was in the bottom of the ship,” in the engine room supply.

“There was a ladder leading down into it, which was about 50 feet below the bridge,” said Coulson.

“The only thing that the scale was two bolts connecting the top of the ladder. There were four, five, six of us there. Nobody goes there. Finally, I did. When I arrived at the bottom of the ladder, they cried, “Abandon ship! I high-tailed it out of there.

“You have no idea if you were going to get him out (the ship), but you try.”

“When we got up there was water in the third deck in the living quarters.”

There Coulson met a Marine teaches, frozen in his tracks.

“We picked up and took him to the next bridge,” said Coulson.

Coulson scrambled off the sinking ship, and then went to Tennessee, crossing the thick ropes that bound the two ships together.

In Tennessee, the men had to hit the water to swim to the Shore of Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor.

“These idiots were taking their shoes and swimming to the island,” Coulson said, laughing. “I left mine.”

Coulson, including shoes would come in handy for the race.

“There was still flying around Japan,” he said.

The USS West Virginia was finally found at the bottom of the harbor.

“We’ve taken all the torpedoes,” he said. “He sank down … but it was still above water at the top of the bridge.”

“Arizona, she had one in the magazine and exploded.”

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