Adm. Papp remembers 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Thomas Talbott, a retired United States Marine and member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, prepare to throw a wreath aboard Coast Guard Cutter Taney in honor of the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Thomas Talbott, a retired United States Marine and member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, prepare to throw a wreath aboard Coast Guard Cutter Taney in honor of the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp provided keynote remarks at a Pearl Harbor remembrance aboard the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter Taney in Baltimore today. This year is both the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and 25th anniversary of Taney’s decommissioning. Taney is the last surviving vessel afloat to have been present during the attack and serves as a museum ship in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

€“Thomas Talbott, a retired United States Marine and member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, shares stories about his experiences during the Pearl Harbor attack during the memorial ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Crystalynn Kneen.

€“Thomas Talbott, a retired United States Marine and member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, shares stories about his experiences during the Pearl Harbor attack during the memorial ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Crystalynn Kneen.

During the event, Papp reflected on the surprise for Taney’s crew when the attack began:

“Seventy years ago today, at 0755, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, members of Taney’s crew were resting in their racks right below the very deck we are assembled on, when they were blasted out of their holiday routine by an attack force of over 180 Japanese aircraft.”

He then read from an after action report written by Taney’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Louis Olson:

“When the anti-aircraft fire was first observed…general quarters [was] sounded and all officers not on board ordered to return. The anti-aircraft battery as well as all other guns were ready to fire with their full crew and three officers at their stations in four minutes.”

Papp also relayed a story from Coast Guard Lt. Frank Erickson, a pioneer of helicopter search and rescue, who had the duty on Ford Island – located in the middle of Pearl Harbor - that morning:

“As the explosions continued, the phone rang – on the other end of the line was the Air Station commanding officer U.S. Navy Capt. James Shoemaker, demanding to know ‘What the hell kind of drills [his Coast Guard duty officer] was pulling down there?!’

With shrapnel raining down, a message was soon dispatched from the Air Station Duty Officer – ‘AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR – THIS IS NOT A DRILL.’”

To find out more about the remembrance ceremony you can read Papp’s remarks or read a message he sent to all Coast Guard personnel.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp shares a story with a Coast Guard veteran aboard Coast Guard Cutter Taney during the Pearl Harbor remembrance. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp shares a story with a Coast Guard veteran aboard Coast Guard Cutter Taney during the Pearl Harbor remembrance. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

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  • MEC B. Rozek

    I hate to be the one to bring this to light, but I’ve found out the Taney is not the last surviving afloat vessel that was present during the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The Navy had in commission a harbor tug, YT-153, that not only is still afloat, but is a current commercial diving vessel registered as the M/V Hawk, in North Kingston, RI.

    YT-153′s logs from 12/7/1941 stated seeing, and attempting to ram an “unidentified submarine” near Hospital Point during the battle. A quick “Google” search will confirm my findings.

  • prhynard

    Chief Rozek,
    Thanks for your interest in the Compass and for your comment. You are absolutely correct; YT-153 is not only a Pearl Harbor survivor but is still in operation today. Both the Taney and the YT-153 hold a very special place in U.S. history, as do the men who served on them 70 years ago.

    Respectfully,
    Lt Paul Rhynard
    U.S. Coast Guard