Friday, December 07, 2012

Pearl Harbor, the next days

December, 7th, 1941, was bad enough, with nearly 3,000 Americans dead and our Pacific Fleet in ruins. But it didn't all go away by itself. Come December 8th, the work began at picking up the pieces. Bodies had to be recovered, ships had to be refloated, and the fleet and the base had to be rebuilt, mostly by the people who were there and using the scant equipment that they had left.

A great book on this herculean task is Descent into Darkness, a book written about the salvage operations by Edward Raymer, one of the Navy hardhat divers who actually went down onto and into the sunken hulls of the fleet and worked to make them ready for removal from the bottom of the harbor. His stories are gripping and often tragic, as diving of that sort was still in it's infancy. Mistakes were made and lives were lost, and grisly discoveries were made as the ships' hulls were entered. But the work was done and done in epic time, a testament to the sort of men these Americans were back then. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to know what it was really like there after the sneak attack by the Japanese.
Get a copy and read it often, and you'll never forget December 7th and the real scope of the damage and loss of that day.


  1. That is a great book! I have it on my shelf with my other history type books. It is well worth the read.

  2. It is now on my Amazon list.

  3. I just finished reading it. Great book! Thanks for posting about it.