Details of attack still vivid for USS Arizona veterans

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Pearl Harbor survivor Lonnie Cook remembers completing his morning shower in the forward section of the battleship USS Arizona and returning to his locker just before the Japanese began their attack.

"I was standing in front of my locker changing clothes," the 86-year-old said, "when the bombs started falling."

Had Cook taken a bit longer in the shower, he would have been killed along with 1,177 of his Arizona shipmates. The 1,760-pound armor piercing ordnance that sank the Arizona ignited its forward ammunition magazine near the showers.

From the mundane to the most important details, Pearl Harbor survivors retain vivid images of that day 65 years ago, when Japanese airplanes dotted the sky above Oahu, their bombs blowing up massive ships out of existence.

And their memories show that at least among the rank and file, everyone was expecting a normal day.

"I was there in front of my locker in my white shorts and I grabbed my wallet out of locker," Cook said yesterday. "I had $60 in it that I had won in a crap game the night before."
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