USS West Virginia alive in name and spirit on 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor : Gallery

MORGANTOWN — On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy rained hell on an island paradise, it was West Virginia — the Colorado class battleship USS West Virginia — that helped shoulder the brunt of the attack.
It likely comes as little surprise that it took at least seven direct torpedo strikes and two direct hits from Japanese bombers to take the West Virginia out of a fight that killed 106 members of her crew and more than 2,300 Americans stationed at the Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Before all was said and done, the Wee Vee rose from the shallows of Pearl Harbor to return the bloody favor, sinking the Japanese battleship Yamashiro near the Philippines on Oct. 24, 1944, the last time battleships of warring nations went toe-to-toe.
The guns of the West Virginia would then support Marines in a number of island engagements, including Iwo Jima. She was present in Tokyo Bay on Aug. 31, 1945,  when Japan formally surrendered.
The battleship was decommissioned on Jan. 9, 1947, but the name lives on. Today, the USS West Virginia is an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.
Now the old battleship’s mast and bell stands watch in front of WVU’s Oglebay Hall, where a crowd gathered on a chilly Friday morning to pay respects on the 77th Pearl Harbor Day.
USS West Virginia submarine commander Captain Jared Wyrick was on hand from Georgia to deliver the keynote address. He was joined by USS West Virginia Chief-of-the-Boat, Senior Chief Will Corey.
Wyrick, the husband of a Morgantown native and WVU graduate, said the bravery and willingness to sacrifice present in those who fought off the Japanese on that date which will live in infamy, is still very much alive.
“What I can tell you and what I can assure you is that I have the honor to lead and serve with warriors today wearing that same Navy uniform, inside those same haze gray hulls.  And I can tell you that if they are pushed, they’re ready to open throttles, change course toward the threat and make all torpedo tubes ready to fire,” Wyrick said.
“They’re proud to be associated with this legendary battleship, her crew and the great state of West Virginia. I hope you’re all proud to be associated with them.”
Tweet @DominionPostWV.

To continue reading, log into your account or explore our subscription options:





More Featured

Featured
State medical cannabis program won't be ready to roll on start date
West Virginias medical cannabis program officially takes effect July 1.
June 23, 2019 - 1:00 am
Featured
Mylan shareholders approve board nominees, executive pay; support UAW 'clawback' proposal
Mylan shareholders had their annual general meeting in Amsterdam on Friday and overwhelmingly approved election of the board of directors, including one additional member.
June 21, 2019 - 7:11 pm
Featured
One education tax credit bill narrowly passes Finance; other one dies without a vote
The House Finance Committee spent just overtwo hours hashing over 168, the so-called Equal Opportunity EducationScholarship program, and barely passed it, with two Republican members crossingover.
June 18, 2019 - 4:32 pm
Featured
House of Delegates takes up education reform bills
With red-shirted teachers packing thegalleries, hallways and meeting rooms, the House of Delegates convened Mondaymorning to take up education betterment.
June 17, 2019 - 12:22 pm