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"That was the day. Total devastation, total amazement, dazed. But we were doing our job. We had to do our job, didn’t think beyond just that." (Audio interview, 25:15)

   Norwood Teague
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Tennessee
Service Location: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; Newport News, Virginia
Rank: Ensign
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Commissioned as an ensign in the Navy in 1940 and assigned to the battleship USS Tennessee, Norwood Teague found himself in the thick of the action on December 7th. Surrounded by fires burning on the USS West Virginia and the USS Arizona, he was ordered to the second deck of the Tennessee to investigate conditions; he found it so hot that the paint was smoldering, giving off waves of thick, toxic smoke. Here, he gives an intensely detailed account of the attack as he experienced it: amidst the chaos of Battleship Row.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (53 min.)
»Norwood Teague at Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941
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»Pearl Harbor
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Entrance into the service; assigned to the battleship USS Tennessee; taking night watch on December 6th; sleeping in the next morning; awakened when USS Arizona blew up; reported to his station; tremendous amount of smoke; breathing apparatuses; spending most of the attack below deck. (12:45) Avoided bombing because of the smoke coming from the USS Arizona; tremendous heat; after attack, getting together a work party to replenish oxygen bottles and fire extinguishers. (08:28) Night of December 7th, American planes coming into the harbor and being hit with friendly fire; everyone was tense and suspicious; left Pearl Harbor for Bremerton, Washington, a week after attack; proposed to his girlfriend as soon as he arrived stateside; got married on January 5th. (03:50)
Serving on the USS Tennessee; headed to South Pacific; back to Aleutian Islands; transferred to the USS Essex; stationed in Newport News, Virginia; advanced training; surviving hurricane in Ulithi Lagoon; transfer to USS Boxer. (11:34)  

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  October 26, 2011
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