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December 7th , 2017
Little known History:
A crew member of the USS Utah had been storing an urn containing his daughter’s ashes in his locker onboard, planning to scatter them at sea, but the Dec. 7 attack prevented him from ever doing so. Sixty-four men died aboard the USS Utah that day, and many of their bodies remain entombed within its sunken hull. The baby girl, who had died at birth, was finally honored with a funeral at the USS Utah Memorial at Pearl Harbor in 2003.
December 7th , 1941
A 21 year old 3rd Class “Quarter Master” stationed aboard the U.S.S. Utah BB-31/AG-16, survived Her sinking, went on to serve aboard the cruiser USS Honolulu CL-48 Receiving one campaign star for action defending the Aleutian Islands 1942. Late 1943 he was transferred the Heavy Cruiser USS Minneapolis CA -36 leading to 20 continuous months of action in the South Pacific. They were heavily involved in the Marine landings on Mariana Is., the Martial's and Iwo Jima. In 1944 they saw action in the Battle of the Philippine sea, Battle of Layte Gulf and fierce battle of Surigao Straight, Lingayen Gulf, and the landings on Bataan and Corregidor receiving five more campaign stars, including American Campaign Medal, American Defense medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal w/silver star, and Honorable Discharge in 1945.
This Pearl Harbor Survivor, advanced to second class Quartermaster was my father.
RIP – Robert R. Lewis, 1919 - 1993