Memories of U.S.S. Arizona

POSTED: Monday, May 25, 2009 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm

EL PASO--- Not many are left of the greatest generation.
But in El Paso, we found a former navy seaman who once served aboard the U.S.S. Arizona before it was bombed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii 67 years ago.

"Most Everybody's Been to Hawaii and Seen This"

Honolulu, Hawaii, 1937.
Seaman First Class Clyde Jacobs stepped aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.

70 years later, Clyde still reflects, while rummaging through his scrapbook album.
It was a time when stamps were still five cents, and being a young sailor meant starting at the bottom, he said.

"The first job you got was mess cook, serving meals," the 91-year-old Clyde said.

He served on the Arizona until 1939.
Then, he went into submarine service, leaving behind some friends on the carrier.
Two years later came the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Arizona.
Clyde heard the news miles away, in Newfoundland.

"We heard right away. In fact, when we got back to the boat, we heard that speech that President Roosevelt said," said Clyde.

He lost a dozen of old comrades that day.

"A set of twins by the name of Anderson, one of them lives in New Mexico, but one of them got killed," he said.

Many others died, in the years of war after.

"It was 52 submarines lost during World War II. A lot of those people I knew," he said.

So, this weekend, Clyde keeps a flag waving outside, pulls out his album of memories...

"I think of the guys we knew went down on submarines and then on the Arizona."

... And remembers those lives lost, so long ago.

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