informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Dec 10 2006, 11:34 PM Category: History Source: Colorado Springs Gazette Print

65 years later, his questions linger

Man aboard USS Boise saw fleet that later bombed Pearl Harbor
By ED SEALOVER


Around this time every year, Joe Fenton’s mind wanders back to the preview he had of the destruction that would be unleashed on Pearl Harbor.

Just 17 years old and six months removed from boot camp, Fenton was an oiler on the USS Boise as it escorted five merchant ships carrying air base construction materials across the Pacific to the Philippines. After midnight on the morning of Nov. 28, 1941, the light cruiser’s loudspeakers blared with orders for crew members to man their battle stations.

Fenton scrambled to the deck and saw two dozen ships of unknown origin about 3 miles away on the horizon, heading east. They were silhouetted by moonlight that would have blinded the fleet to the Boise’s presence.

Greatly outnumbered and under orders to maintain radio silence, the Boise did not fire and did not alert anyone for days to what it had seen.

When the Boise reached Manila, officers alerted members of Gen. Douglas Mac-Arthur’s staff of their find, Fenton said. Their reaction, as he recalled, was: “They’ve got as much right to be in the water as we do.”

It was only when word came down Dec. 7 about the Pearl Harbor attack that Fenton and his shipmates realized they had seen the fleet that brought America into World War II. While the Boise hid by a remote Pacific island after the attack and awaited orders, talk buzzed about what its crew could have done.

That conversation has dimmed today; most crew members have passed away. But Fenton, a retired Colorado Springs plumbing company owner, replays the talk to himself.

“I always think that perhaps we could have prevented the whole thing . . . if we had got the alarm off,” the 82-year-old said last week in his kitchen. “I always think: ‘Maybe I could have prevented this.’ I get real sad about it.”

But he said that thought is followed quickly by the realization that if the Boise had made any move that could have alerted the Japanese it had seen them, the fleet would bombarded it into the pages of history.

“I think the whole picture of World War II would have changed if we had just gotten a radio off,” he added. “But it would have cost my life.”

Memorial events across the country will mark the 65th anniversary today of the early morning raid that killed about 2,500 Americans. Some people will head to Hawaii to honor the occasion; others will gather at local monuments.

Fenton will be in Colorado Springs, surrounded by newspaper clips and medals that mark his Navy service and, later, the Army. His thoughts, though, will be on what he saw in the middle of the ocean.

No one present forgot that moment, which has been little recorded in history. Melvin Howard, a former crewman and current Philadelphia resident who once chaired reunions for the Boise, remembered that everyone on the ship was ready to fire if ordered.

“We never got the word to fire,” Howard said. “And it’s a good thing we didn’t, because they would have blown us out of the water.”

Once America entered the war, the Boise made 14 landings in the Pacific and in Europe, fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal and served as a scout vessel before the famed Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.

The Boise earned its greatest accolades by sinking six Japanese ships in 27 minutes off Cape Esperance in 1942. Despite a shell crashing through a part of the ship in which he was working, Fenton, who fed oil into boilers and later was a ship engineer, remembers staying calm.

His mother, who raised him in Denver, saved newspaper articles about the ship and gave them to him in a scrapbook when he returned. Fenton also kept a diary during his service, and he typed it up in recent years to preserve it.

“Did not know what was going on, we were not at war, the ships all stopped and our gun turrets all trained to our port side,” he wrote of the November 1941 sighting. “That makes you wish you had gone to the bathroom a little earlier.”

After being transferred to the Army and serving a short stint in Asia during the Korean War, Fenton started a business in Colorado Springs. He ran Fenton Plumbing and Heating until retirement in 1982, when he passed the company on to his son.

He stops there for coffee every once in a while, and he carves wood figures for his family and friends. Twice widowed, the decorated veteran spends every Friday night dining and dancing at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post with his girlfriend.

Late 1941 is not that far away, though. Any mention of Pearl Harbor sparks thoughts of that day, and any thought about what he saw leads him to think even more about what could have occurred.

“They made no hostile moves to us,” Fenton said. “It was like two strangers passing in the night. We weren’t going to initiate the firing. There was no way we could have survived that.”





Latest History
- 'This is America': The Day Police Firebombed West Philadelphia
- The Fascinating History of Hershey, Cuba
- Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the "Dark Ages"
- The U.S.'s Nazi Imports
- When Government Spreads Disease: The 1906 Meat Inspection Act
- The US Air Force Almost Nuked North Carolina
- Gun Control in Nazi Germany
- Obama's Former Foreign Policy Adviser Said -- In 1997 -- that the U.S. Had to Gain Control of Ukraine









No Comments Posted Add Comment


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Federal Judge Believes Motorist, Not Cop, In Traffic Stop - 05/28Virginia Man Is Harassed While Eating In Hotel Parking Lot - 05/28The NSA's Technotyranny: One Nation Under Surveillance - 05/27Arizona Cop Suspended for Snatching Man's Phones, Claiming They Could be Weapons - 05/28Teen Girls Face Felony Charges For Senior Prank Putting Alarm Clocks In Lockers - 05/28Student Punished for Bringing Hot Pepper to School - 05/29California Adult Film Regulations Mandate 'Protective Eye Gear,' Vaccines - 05/29Gun Control Group Deceives Public by Hiring Paid Actors for "Hidden Camera Experiment" - 05/28

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up
(more)

 
Top