A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Old Time Kentucky: Dec. 7, 1941 proved to be no ordinary day for Gunner’s Mate Vessels

By Berry Craig KyForward columnist Dec. 7, 1941, seemed like an ordinary Sunday morning in port for Gunner’s Mate Third Class James Allard Vessels of Paducah. His ship, the USS Arizona, was one of seven battleships moored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The navy called the lineup of powerful dreadnoughts “Battleship Row.” Vessels, who died in 1981, rolled out of his bunk about five-thirty in the morning....