A piece of history – state receives U.S.S. Nevada logs
The state received a gift of a piece of its history Friday as Gov. Jim Gibbons accepted the daily logs of the battleship U.S.S. Nevada.
The logs, “The War Diaries of the U.S.S. Nevada, 1916-1946,” record the daily history of the ship’s activities throughout its service, including Dec. 7, 1941. That Sunday morning, the Nevada was the only battleship at Pearl Harbor to get underway during the Japanese attack.
But Dean Miller, who attended the ceremony and met with the governor, doesn’t need those logs to remember that day. He was manager of the ship’s store on the Nevada when she was attacked.
Asked what he and the rest of the crew did, he said, “We tried to get the hell out of there.”
Miller, now a retired state worker living in Reno, said his battle station was in the magazines for the 5-inch guns, so he was below decks during the fight. But he said gunners on the 20 mm and 40 mm cannons got into the action.
Having already been torpedoed, the Nevada set sail toward the harbor entrance, but seeing the threat of being sunk in the narrow harbor mouth, potentially blocking Pearl Harbor for months, her captain beached her to one side of the entrance.
Gibbons accepted the logs from Cmdr. Eric Holloway, captain of the Trident submarine which now bears Nevada’s name.
Referring to his own extensive military service, Gibbons told the audience near the U.S.S. Nevada memorial behind the state Capitol, “I didn’t do half what these people did.”
Gibbons returned the favor for Holloway, providing him with a DVD containing those historic logs for his boat’s library.
The Nevada not only survived Pearl Harbor, she went on to provide firepower during the Normandy landings in France and finished WWII with seven battle starts among other awards.
The final tribute to the ship’s toughness came after she was decommissioned and placed at Bikini Atoll for the test of an Atomic Bomb in 1946. When the blast from the huge explosion cleared, everything else had sunk. But the Nevada was still afloat and had to be sunk by Navy torpedo bombers.
Mike Fisher, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs, said Cmdr. Holloway, and representatives of the Reno Navy League also visited the Nevada State Museum to view the U.S.S. Nevada silver service exhibit now being developed. Nevada received the 69-piece silver service set when the ship was decommissioned. That exhibit is expected to open for the public this summer.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.
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