Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

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Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by caappy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:07 am

Former Fireman 1st Class Gilbert Meyer, a Pearl Harbor survivor, was excited to be promoted to fireman first class on Dec 6, 1941, just one day before the Japanese attack on the Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor.

In his soft-spoken Texan accent, he told about what happened 77 years ago.

“I had the mid-watch that night and was really tired. After my watch, I went to the galley and we drank coffee and discussed what we would do if the Japanese attacked,” he remembered.

As Meyer recounted the hours that led up to the attack, he reminisced about the good news of his promotion. “I got to sleep in luxury on a cot in the fire room. Everyone else on board were on hammocks,” he said.

Meyer said that he barely woke up as the first torpedo hit. “I was sleeping on the starboard side, so I was safe. The torpedoes came from the channel on the port side.”

The second torpedo hit and the battle lanterns were not operational. The steam fell to zero and the lights went out.
“My good friend, John Reeves Crain, died then. We only knew each other six months, but back then, that was a long time,” Meyer said.
Meyer explained that there were three of them who had just been promoted to firemen first class Crain, Leonard Lew Purifoy and himself.

“After the lights went out, the ship began to list and I knew I had to get off. I started to run off in my skivvies and shoes, but once I made it off the ship I did not have my shoes. I have no idea what happened to them.” “The ship was rolling and there were large timbers on board and they rolled off and killed some. As we all got to shore, the wives from the officer housing told us to run in their homes and find any clothes we could.”

They were in grave danger because many Sailors either could not swim or were drowning in the oil that had spilled due to all the heavy strafing. He also told how everyone found a way to help – by either shooting rifles at enemy planes or rescuing Sailors from the water.
Meyers explained that after the attack was over, Sailors would walk onto the quarterdeck of any ship and give their rate to see if anyone needed assistance. If they did, that is where they would work for the day.
A one-cent postcard was sent to Meyer’s parents to notify them of his status after the attack. The postcard was pre-typed with multiple options: I am well; I have been admitted to hospital as wound-ed/sick/serious/not serious; I am getting on well, hope to return to duty soon. Sailors had to scratch off the items that were not appropriate and the card usually took three- to six weeks to reach their families on the mainland.


Sent him 2 photos on 25 Jan and got them back signed on 7 Feb. He also sent a business card size card listing what battles he took part in during the war.

Mr Gilbert Meyer
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Re: Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by admin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:15 am

Hi caappy :)

Thank you for your feedback {up}

Would you have a scan of the envelope you received please?
If so, you are in the run for the $10 gift certificate.

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Re: Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by caappy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:22 am

Here is the address I sent too... Admin deleted it on my post..
Mr Gilbert Meyer
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Re: Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by admin » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:59 am

Mr Meyer is 96 years old :|

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Re: Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by caappy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:44 am

Admin.. do you really think that because he is 96 years old he would not appreciate getting mail??

caappy
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Re: Gilbert Meyer Pearl Harbor Survivor U S S Utah

Post by caappy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:48 am

Admin.. you still have Doris Days and Betty Whites addresses in here... they are about the same age.. What is the difference??

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