Gives an account of the attack on USS Helena .
Text from Interview Excerpt(s)
[Where was the Helena during Pearl Harbor?]
Right alongside 10-10 dock, just aft of the dry dock where the Cassin and Downes were bombed and the ship we were in got hit. . . . I was officer of the deck . . . that Sunday morning. There was a signalman named Flood who was an old China-hand. He had the duty up on the signal bridge. I was standing on the quarterdeck. . . . He called down and said that there were Japanese planes overhead. He could see the "meatball" and he recognized them because he had seen them bomb Shanghai. I watched and, as the first plane went into a dive, my first thought was that he was pulling a mock attack. Then I saw a bomb come off, going toward Ford Island.
. . . I ran in there and announced something to the effect that "Japanese planes are bombing Pearl Harbor! Man your battle stations!" I didn't say, "This is no drill." But I did say, "Break out service ammunition."
. . . Immediately after I made the announcement, a torpedo hit . . . in the forward engine room. . . . One thing I distinctly remember was seeing a torpedo plane go across our ship towards battleship row. The cockpit in the plane was open and the pilot was leaning out first one side and then the other, sighting-up. He couldn't have been over fifty feet in the air. My recollection is that I fired my forty-five automatic at him, but that might be colored by what I wished I had done.
By this time, there were a lot of burned people coming up on deck.
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|Citation :||William W. Jones Interview, Oral History Collection , February 6, 1988.|
|Location :||Manuscripts and Rare Books, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858 USA|
|Call Number :||Oral History No. 101, p. 6-10.    Display Collection Guide|
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