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'INFAMY' TIMES TWO FOR U.S. PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE ENEMY.

Byline: Dana Bartholomew Staff Writer

Sixty years ago today, planes carrying the Imperial Japanese rising sun insignia filled the skies over Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor, land-locked harbor, on the southern coast of Oahu island, Hawaii, W of Honolulu; one of the largest and best natural harbors in the E Pacific Ocean. In the vicinity are many U.S. military installations, including the chief U.S. , Hawaii, during a sneak attack that killed 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians.

Just short of six decades later, Arab terrorists in hijacked jetliners killed hundreds more than that in a stunning aerial attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

``Never underrate your potential enemy,'' warned Leon Kolb, 83, of North Hollywood, who survived the capsizing of the battleship battleship, large, armored warship equipped with the heaviest naval guns. The evolution of the battleship, from the ironclad warship of the mid-19th cent., received great impetus from the Civil War.  USS USS
abbr.
1. United States Senate

2. United States ship

USS abbr (= United States Ship) → Namensteil von Schiffen der Kriegsmarine
 Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. ``Never trust what they may do.''

It's a lesson the remaining survivors of the ``day that will live in infamy'' will repeat today at Pearl Harbor memorial services in Hawaii and across the nation.

At 10 a.m. today, Kolb will join Van Nuys American Legion American Legion, national association of male and female war veterans, founded (1919) in Paris. Membership is open to veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  Post 193 in a memorial service at Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Veterans Memorial Park in Sherman Oaks.

``We should never forget what happened,'' said World War II veteran Seymour Rosen, 77, of Toluca Lake, whose Wabash Saxons social club will be holding a separate memorial for Pearl Harbor veterans today.

``Young people should learn their history and never forget the sacrifices made by their grandfathers and their fathers to keep this country free.''

Torpedoes had just ripped open the USS Oklahoma when Kolb, then a 23-year-old petty officer first-class gunner's mate The United States Navy occupational rating of Gunner's Mate (abbreviated as GM) is a designation given by the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) to enlisted members who either satisfactorily complete initial Gunner's Mate "A" school training, or who "strike" for the rating , remembered the diamond ring he'd stashed for his would-be fiancee in a locker below deck.

The 29,000-ton battleship had listed to starboard. Bullets pinged off its 14-inch guns.

``It's like a horrible nightmare had come true,'' Kolb recalled. ``I thought we were getting hit by other battleships The list of battleships includes all battleships since 1859, listed alphabetically. The list also contains battlecruisers which share most of the characteristics of a battleship or have otherwise been referred to as battleships. . I never dreamed that torpedo planes could attack the harbor ... It felt like the ship would rise and fall with each explosion.''

Bombs fell on neighboring ships.

And Kolb, wearing white shorts and a regulation U.S. Navy T-shirt, was ordered out of the ship's magazine by men who wouldn't survive the day.

Then he remembered his ring - followed by a biblical injunction never to look back - and scrambled to safety over the rising port gunwale.

``I saw a picture of Lot's wife Lot’s wife

ignores God’s command; turns to salt upon looking back. [O.T.: Genesis 19:26]

See : Curiosity
 turning to go back, she turned into a pillar of salt
''For the Biblical Reference to Lot's wife see Lot in Genesis


Pillar of Salt is the name of a street sign on Angel Hill Bury St Edmunds in the United Kingdom, thought to be the first internally illuminated street sign in the country.
,'' he said. ``And I took that as God's message: Don't go back. If I had, I would have been buried in salt water with the rest who had gone down.''

The attack lasted 12 minutes. Of the 1,300 sailors on the USS Oklahoma, a third were lost.

That day, eight U.S. battleships were damaged, three destroyed and the USS Oklahoma capsized. The USS Arizona USS Arizona has been the name of three ships of the United States Navy. The first two ships predate both the territory and state of Arizona, but within the region of northern Mexico known as la PimerĂ­a Alta  lost about 1,200 sailors and is now a sunken memorial to the attack.

While the memory of Pearl Harbor faded after the war - with friendship with Japan and America's guilt over interning Japanese-American residents during World War II - critics say that has changed.

``Pearl Harbor,'' last summer's blockbuster movie, renewed appreciation of American sacrifice, while the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks renewed patriotic fervor.

``This year is going to be a different ... Pearl Harbor Day,'' said James ``Jack'' Solomon, a social critic and English professor at California State University, Northridge CSUN offers a variety of programs leading to bachelor's degrees in 61 fields and master's degrees in 42 fields. The university has over 150,000 alumni. It's also home to a summer musical theater/theater program known as TADW (TeenAge Drama Workshop) that leads teenagers through an .

``There has been a renewed sense of nostalgia and pride ... and indignation of attacks, verbal or otherwise, on the country. And that's completely understandable.''

``I think because of the awareness this year, and with the movie, it'll be a much bigger celebration of life and of the military in general,'' added Cindy Forte, 45, of Canyon Country, whose father, Joseph Ceo, of the USS Aylwin Four ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Aylwin for John Cushing Aylwin.
  • The first Aylwin was launched in 1813, fought in the Battle of Lake Champlain and sold in 1815.
, survived Pearl Harbor.

Lucille Kolb, now 90, once a witness to the 1917 Russian revolution in St. Petersburg, never got her engagement ring. Instead, she married her never-look-back survivor, and they had children, grandchildren and a great-grandchild. ``I lost the ring, but got the girl,'' Kolb said. ``I keep promising her we'll have our 60th (wedding) anniversary next April.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Leon Kolb, now 83, recalls losing his fiance's engagement ring as he fled the capsizing USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.

Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer
COPYRIGHT 2001 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 7, 2001
Words:678
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