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Author Stephen Young was a seaman first class assigned to gunnery duty in turret no. 4 on the Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Struck by a bomb, the battleship started to sink, and Young and others became trapped when it overturned. Young describes their terrifying experience with stunning clarity. He recounts the violence of the capsizing, which killed or injured many of the men, and the survivors' frantic search for an escape route. He remembers their horror at finding all the exits blocked and their despair over the possibility of never being rescued.
This account of their experience is undeniably one of the most dramatic stories to unfold during the air raid. With incredible realism, Young describes the water's inexorable rise, inch by awful inch; the sickening taste of fuel oil; the foul smell of the air; the nervous wisecracks echoing through the cold darkness; and finally the silence. The intensity and suspense rival that of any fictional thriller—the recounting of his escape is particularly spellbinding. To place his experiences in a broader context, Young also provides little-known tales of tragedy and bravery that occurred elsewhere on that Day of Infamy. First published in hardcover in 1991 to wide acclaim, this memorable story remains popular today.
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