U.S. Navy 1939–1946
Pearl Harbor survivor Gerald Halterman relives his experience as a communications officer in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii on the USS Oklahoma. While ashore on duty the night of Dec. 6-7, 1941, he received a message that the USS Ward had been fired on and shortly thereafter low flying planes appeared. Halterman recalls that day in great detail: the noise, the smoke, and the oil-soaked sailors. Four hundred and twenty-nine of his shipmates on the USS Oklahoma were lost that day. He remained at Pearl through April 1943 when he was chosen for officer training and sent to St. Ambrose College in Iowa. After the war he joined the Naval Reserves, went to Amherst College on the GI Bill and had a 35-year career with Raytheon.