U.S.S. West Virginia Sailors Hoist Their Glasses at Monkey Bar, Pearl Harbor, HI
L to R: Jack Miller, Frank Kosa, Clifford Olds.Olds and 2 other crew members , Ronald Endicott and Louis Costin were trapped in a sealed compartment in the West Virginia's bow after it sank on December 7th. Any rescue attempt meant certain death. The 3 stayed alive until December 24th according to a marked calendar found with their bodies which were recovered after the ship was raised from the harbor bottom in May, 1942.
USN Captain Mervyn S. Bennion, U.S.S. West Virginia
Captain Bennion was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. As he laid mortally wounded on the West Virginia's command bridge, Bennion refused to be removed from his burning ship. He continued to give orders, directing his crew's actions. Bennion's last order to his men before he died was to leave him and "abandon ship." Captain Bennion was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The photo was taken from the deck of the U.S.S. West Virginia. Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia. William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.