Phil Hazard Helps Repair Mighty Battle Wagons
Phil Hazard writes an interesting letter to his sister, Mrs. Wm. Putnam,
from Pearl Harbor where he is employed as a mechanic in the ship yards.
I get up at 5:30 every morning to get to work and I don't
feel like doing anything in the evening but rest, so I don't get many
letters written. You get in a habit of putting things off her anyway as
the weather is just the same every day and you don't have the pep you do
I had a swell Thanksgiving dinner on board a big carrier,
turkey and all the trimmings. We sure enjoyed it, too.
(This letter severely censored for the next few sentences,
telling where they were as the Japs dove down on the ship and wrecked
their ship next to them.) The ship sure was a mess. It was caught on
the side and there was a hole big enough to put your house in. Didn't
seem like it could stay afloat, but it did and we patched her up and she
is back in line again.
Just to give you some idea of that ship, if she was set
on Main Street in Chamberlain, her bow would be at the Taft Hotel and
her stern at the Mussman. You could walk from her flight deck onto the
highest building on the street and the control island would be
that much higher. She was big, but not the biggest we see come in here.
We cut 60 feet off the bow of one "battle wagon" and made a
new one and had her back in the fight seven weeks after her arrival. It
was one that had been raised from the bottom. We have all but two back
in use so we haven't done so bad. The Japs didn't know or were too dumb
to follow up that raid or it would have been too bad for us.
There was a blackout and an alert alarm (censored)
night when bombers were like a bunch of bees all over the sky. There was
plenty of shooting. It was a great sight to see at night, the shells
breaking like stars and the shake of the guns sure feels funny. We took
to the air raid shelters and stayed there for a while.
Phil writes Mrs. Putnam that he has been trying to
purchase something and send it back home to her, but that the servicemen
have cleaned out everything . He says he was in a Chinese place looking
at a tablecloth and napkins he thought she might like and he asked the
price, which was $179.50. He thinks maybe after the Christmas rush is
over he can pick up a suitable present.