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1941 Buick Survives Pearl Harbor

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Wow, I had not heard of this one. There's a similar story that the Buick Bugle published a few years ago involving a gray 1939 Special convertible coupe that was parked at Hickham Field in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which is owned by a BCA member in Virginia. His car also survived the bombing unscathed. I believe one of his relatives originally owned the car.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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13 minutes ago, Pete Phillips said:

Wow, I had not heard of this one. There's a similar story that the Buick Bugle published a few years ago involving a gray 1939 Special convertible coupe that was parked at Hickham Field in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which is owned by a BCA member in Virginia. His car also survived the bombing unscathed. I believe one of his relatives originally owned the car.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

 

I came across this story on the 39 convertible today, too.

 

https://journal.classiccars.com/2014/11/25/pearl-harbor-survivor-39-buick-comes-auction/

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God Bless Gordon H Sterling JR. for his bravery and heroic efforts  ...   That is some bullet hole in that windshield!  A damn shame we can't live on this planet in peace.

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I wonder if that car is what inspired the filmmakers to use a 1941 Buick Roadmaster convertible sedan in the movie?

 

buick10al.1715.jpg\

 

Funny to see it sitting on radial tires in the film, though... :rolleyes:

 

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The car in the movie belonged to Greg Field BCA #1 and he drove his cars so the radials are no surprise. No, he didn't drive it to Hawaii! But I believe he was there for some of the filming.

On another note, I watched a documentary, may have been History Channel or National Geographic earlier this year about Pearl Harbor and they interviewed many survivors, one of them was a fellow named Gene Sorenson, he had a 1938 there, interesting picture of the car had a BCA badge on the grill? Wish I could remember where saw it, may have been YouTube?

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Checking the web link you can see the original windshield half with a large caliber hole in it, wow.  I would think that size of projectile would keep going through the seats and possibly through the bottom of the car.

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On 12/9/2017 at 3:17 PM, kgreen said:

Checking the web link you can see the original windshield half with a large caliber hole in it, wow.  I would think that size of projectile would keep going through the seats and possibly through the bottom of the car.

Which post # has that link?

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And a little more Pearl Harbor history with a Flint connection.  A main road in Flint is named for Owen.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_P._Hammerberg

 

 

Owen Hammerberg's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a diver engaged in rescue operations at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, 17 February 1945. Aware of the danger when 2 fellow divers were hopelessly trapped in a cave-in of steel wreckage while tunneling with jet nozzles under an LST sunk in 40 feet (12 m) of water and 20 feet (6.1 m) of mud. Hammerberg unhesitatingly went overboard in a valiant attempt to effect their rescue despite the certain hazard of additional cave-ins and the risk of fouling his lifeline on jagged pieces of steel imbedded in the shifting mud. Washing a passage through the original excavation, he reached the first of the trapped men, freed him from the wreckage and, working desperately in pitch-black darkness, finally effected his release from fouled lines, thereby enabling him to reach the surface. Wearied but undaunted after several hours of arduous labor, Hammerberg resolved to continue his struggle to wash through the oozing submarine, subterranean mud in a determined effort to save the second diver. Venturing still farther under the buried hulk, he held tenaciously to his purpose, reaching a place immediately above the other man just as another cave-in occurred and a heavy piece of steel pinned him crosswise over his shipmate in a position which protected the man beneath from further injury while placing the full brunt of terrific pressure on himself. Although he succumbed in agony 18 hours after he had gone to the aid of his fellow divers, Hammerberg, by his cool judgment, unfaltering professional skill and consistent disregard of all personal danger in the face of tremendous odds, had contributed effectively to the saving of his 2 comrades. His heroic spirit of self-sacrifice throughout enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.[

 

owen_hammerbergfinal.jpg

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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