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"You just don’t kill a battleship that way…"(Video interview, 9:49)

   Ivan Arnold Harris
Collection image
Ivan Harris [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Nevada (BB 36); USS Mirth (AM 265); Minesweeper USS YMS 365
Service Location: San Diego, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; New York; Pearl Harbor
Rank: Boatswain's Mate First Class
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Ivan Arnold Harris enlisted in the Navy with a sense of adventure, which served him well on the morning of December 7th. Bouncing back from the shock of attack, he was able to handle the coming days with his characteristic resiliency and joie de vivre. He describes his pride and affection for the USS Nevada and its sister ship, the USS Oklahoma; his worst moment came when he realized that the Oklahoma had been sunk. After cleaning up the Nevada little by little, he and his crew accompanied the ship as she ventured stateside and then on convoy duty in the Atlantic.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (62 min.)
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»Pearl Harbor
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Realization that Pearl Harbor was under attack; picking up survivors; realizing that the USS Oklahoma had sunk and feeling like someone kicked him in the stomach. (04:42) Pride that sailors hold for their ships; sadness at not being able to spot the USS Nevada; ship baker handing him bread to eat. (02:15) Importance of his religion in seeing him through tough times; particularly importance of hymns and prayers during the attack. (02:15)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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