Archival photos reveal horror of the Pearl Harbor on 70th anniversary of the attack
Seventy years ago this week, Navy veteran Lou Gore was startled by the muffled thuds of explosions and a burst of commotion while cleaning up from breakfast below deck on the USS Phoenix, a cruiser docked at Pearl Harbor.
Hurrying topside, the 18-year-old seaman first-class was confronted by pandemonium he was unable to immediately comprehend — flames shooting skyward, roiling clouds of dark, acrid smoke, swarms of fighter-bombers buzzing low overhead.
“We didn’t know (at first) those were Japanese planes,” Gore, now 88 and visiting the islands with nine members of his family, recalled in a recent interview. “We didn’t know what was happening. I just did my job.”
Photo: The USS Shaw explodes during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii December 7, 1941. December 7, 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in which over 2,400 members of the United States military were killed. Picture taken December 7, 1941. (Department of the Navy/Naval Photographic Center/Reuters)