The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Richard M. Paull

"There was so much smoke in the harbor, it just blocked out the sun…" (Audio interview, 10:54)

   Richard M. Paull
Placeholder Image
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: 4th Division, USS Nevada (BB 36); USS St. Louis (CL 49)
Service Location: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Pacific; Guam (Mariana Islands); Midway; Guadalcanal, and Bougainville Island (Solomon Islands);Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Great Lakes, Illinois; Norfolk, Virginia
Rank: Motor Machinist's Mate Second Class
View Full Description

For Richard Paull, a Motor Machinist’s Mate Second Class on the USS Nevada, the shock of the attack helped him overcome the fear and panic that he might have experienced. Time passed quickly as he pulled wounded soldiers out of the water and wrapped the dead in shrouds made of blankets ripped from ship bunks. Two days later, conditions were still surreal. Finally able to take time to sleep, he found a makeshift barracks: the lanes of a nearby bowling alley.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (70 min.)
More like this
»Pearl Harbor
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Getting up early to prepare ship for church services; shock of planes flying overhead; running to battle stations; manning number three turret gun; having moved 100-pound bags of gunpowder off of ship the day before; strafing; taking blankets off beds to provide shrouds for dead; state of shock during attack. (07:15) Conditions the day after the attack; cold, uncomfortable conditions; sleeping on a bowling alley near the Marine barracks; volunteering to go to sea on the USS Saint Louis. (03:41) Twenty feet away from USS Arizona when it blew up; losing hearing for three days due to noise from bombs; seeing huge holes on the USS Nevada; shock overriding fear during attack. (07:16)

Home » Richard M. Paull
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us