age as my mother although she is Mother’s aunt, had dark brown hair in those days; by
Christmas Eve when she got the first word from her son two broad stripes of white
swept back from the temples. For Ruben was aboard the Utah.
Aunt Leah always laughs a lot; gay, infectious
laughter. What I remember most about Pearl Harbor day was her attempt to be natural.
Yet she was short-winded with fear, for she knew his schedule. "At the hour they
struck he would have been off watch for an hour, so he’d have been asleep in his
hammock down in the ship. He said it was the equivalent of four stories and they go
down by elevator. Announcers say the Utah was overturned, so he probably had no
chance to get on deck."
Pearl Harbor had, as we know, world-wide
implications; but in our family it narrowed to a twenty-year-old in navy blue, as
we later learned, had hurriedly dispatched a cable (which never did arrive) to
his mom telling her that he had escaped without a scratch but expected to be very
busy from then on.
2. Aboard the U. S. S. Hornet.
THE sleek and mighty
U. S. S. Hornet
was secured alongside the dock at the Naval
Operating Base at Norfolk, Va. She was just a baby---an infant whose commissioned
life was less than seven weeks---but a precocious child, at that. The eighth aircraft
carrier to be built for the U. S. Navy, she embodied numerous improvements over the