I am Joe Morgan, a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941. I was an aviation ordnanceman third class in Aircraft Utility Squadron Two (VJ-2) stationed on Ford Island that infamous morning. VJ-2 was housed in a hangar on the Southwestern shore of Ford Island which is in the middle of Pearl Harbor. I was just a young sailor from Little River, Texas, who had joined the Navy “to see the world.” I certainly was not expecting to have to fight a war!

It was my lot to have the duty that Sunday morning and was in the hangar waiting for the 8 o’clock muster of the ongoing duty section. At five minutes to eight we heard planes diving. We did not pay any attention to them because we were expecting an aircraft carrier to enter port. The aircraft always came in ahead of the carrier and landed on Ford Island. Occasionally, they were given permission to make mock attacks on the base, and we supposed that was what was happening… until there was a loud explosion across the runway Southeast of us.