Biography of George H. Farlow

USS Chandler, DSM-9, Pearl Harbor, USN

   It was Dec. 7, 1941, I was 19 years old and aboard the USS Chandler DSM-9 anchored just a little ways from the Pan American Clipper. We took our liberty at Pearl City Tavern. At the shack that was called Pearl City Tavern we could buy sandwiches, soft drinks, cigarettes & candy etc. It was run by a Japanese family that had high powered cameras in, that they would take pictures of the fleets as they came & went. It was around 7AM and my buddy, Robert Tinsley, and I had just finished taking a shower as we were getting ready to go on liberty. We had just gotten our skivee"s (underwear & T shirts) on, when over the loud speaker came the words,"THE JAPANESE HAVE BOMBED PEARL HARBOR AND THIS IS NO SHIT." Then they rang General Quarters and we all ran as we were to our battle stations. I was on # 1 gun and did not have time to dress, get earplugs, nor helmet, we just started shooting. We shot down one Japanese plane that crashed in a sugar cane field. Our ship got shrapnel from the Japs and I got hit by shrapnel on the "R" side of my forehead. We did not have any Doctors on board, just a Pharmacist's Mate and he cleaned up the wound and put on a bandage and we kept firing. On my gun I had a Pointer and a Stewart-Black Man behind me catching the hot shells, and he didn't have time to get his long asbestos gloves on and his arms were burnt to the bone. He was taken to the Navy Hospital in Pearl. Then Headquarters in Pearl said for all ships that could to get out of Pearl, bombs were dropping all around, we didn't have time to get scared, and bullets were coming from the Jap's planes all around us. We were able to head out for open waters and were urging the Indianapolis LC out ahead of us. As we were going out of the Harbor we were dropping steel nets down on the 2 man submarine of the Japs that would follow our ships into Harbor. The water was clear & we could see them.

   There were no Officers on board as we put out to sea as they hadn't returned from a party on shore the night before. We were at sea 3 months and got refueled out there. During this time we escorted ships to different places and where on lookout for the Japanese. When we got back to Pearl it was a mess. This was a very scary time, but you just automatically did what you were trained to do.

   If the Japs had known how bad Pearl was hit that day, they would have landed and taken over Island and there might have been a very different outcome to the war. Thank goodness they didn't know it.

   There were lighter moments at Sea though. Once some poor fellow wanted to know how to wash his bell bottom trousers. A buddy of mine and I told the poor fellow to wash our clothes, we had to get a long rope, tie the pants & shirt to it, then drop it off back of ship, but tie it to something on ship first where he wouldn't lose it. Then he told him he had to lave them for halfhour and then pull them in to check them and if clean take hem out, othewise leave in for another half hour, and then they would be very clean. Well the new guy did this and after half hour went to pull them in. My Buddy and I were hiding, but in a spot where we could see the new recruit when he pulled in his clothes, we were about to die laughing. The recruit pulled them in and about died. All he had left was a few strips of what use to be a uniform. Boy Was That Fellow Mad, couldn't take a little joke.

   For fun we used to play poker. I won quite a bit, till one night I wasn't doing so good, but kept playing, till we noticed it was kinda light, looked out port hole and the sun was coming up and I had to be on duty in just a little while. I never played poker again.

   We were nearly involved in The Battle of Midway next. We escorted a supply ship to Midway and as we got halfway back to Pearl, it came over the loud speaker that the Japs were bombing Midway.

   We were also in battles at Guam and Wake. I am now 81 years old and will never forget what happened on Dec. 7, 1941. I have never gotten the Purple Heart that I was entitled to as there was NO Doctor on board and the Pharmacist's Mate didn't keep records of all who were injured that day. Since there was no Doctor on board to prove what happened and no records that day of at least minor injuries (ones you didn't have to go to hospital for) you must have two people who where on the ship with you who will say this happened. Only in the past few years have I been able to find any who were on the ship with me that day. One was a Fireman's Mate now a Doctor in Calf. and the other my buddy, Robert Tinsley a Fireman down in the engine room. Since it happened so long ago they didn't remember all who had gotten hurt. Back then segregation was standard and different people on ship didn't hang out with others not of their group.

Picture taken before the war in a Hawaii Studio

George & Robert Tinsley & the Hoola Girl, George is the tall one, dard hair & without the sailor cap. Tinsley is wearing the sailor cap, and the gal in the middle??

   I found them thru the Navy Paper in the Locator part. I also lost most of my hearing during the war. I'm now a Lifetime Member of the DAV and a Member of the Fleet Reserve. I retired from the Navy after 23 years.

     In one part on down on another site it says that the Chandler was out to sea on 12-7-41, but that was not so. I don't know where the fellow got his information from, but we were definitely at Pearl on that day & thats where I got the shrapnel at. My memory is very good, never had any problems with it and VA has us down also as being there at Pearl on that date.

   Here is the list of the rest of the ships I was on & other duties I had plus medals received.

USS Latimer

USS Fargo LC

com. 10 P.R.

Navy Rado Station P.R.

NAWTPD Eglin AFB, Fl.

Medals

American Defense Sevice

Medal with FLeet Clasp

American Campaign Medal

WWII Victory Medal

Navy Occupation Service

Medal with Europe Clasp

----- George H. Farlow

mtndewlady1 AT bellsouth DOT net

LINKS

USS Chandler, NavSource Page on this Ship with Photos and Data, Use Back Key to Return

Back To Justin Oral History, Navy Biographies

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