75 years later: West Loch Disaster at Pearl Harbor
By Craig T. Kojima |
May 21, 2019
| Updated on May 22, 2019 at 1:03 pm
Video by Craig T. Kojima and William Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Seventy-five years ago, Pearl Harbor experienced its second greatest tragedy in what's called the West Loch Disaster. On Tuesday, West Loch Disaster survivor Joe Kelly, 99, returned to the site of the disaster.
Tuesday marked the 75th anniversary of the West Loch tragedy at Pearl Harbor. Joe Kelly, right, is a 93-year-old surviver. Next to him is his wife, Rebecca. At left is Lynn Ann Mullane whose father, Daniel Mullane Jr., was onboard the LST 129 during the disaster.
Joe Kelly, 93, made the trip from Virginia to return to the spot where his tank landing ship, LST 129, was caught in a mix of burning ships and dead and wounded men. For Kelly, who now walks with a cane, it was a pilgrimage that turned out to be very emotional — even after so many years.
The Navy remembered the 163 sailors, soldiers and Marines who gave their lives when a chain reaction of explosions and fire consumed ships and men loading up for the invasion of Saipan.
Cpl. Jeremy X. Pena, left, and IT1 William Wynn, presented a wreath in remembrance of the West Loch Disaster. It is sometimes called the “second Pearl Harbor.”
Joe Kelly, 93, accepted the ceremonial wreath ribbon from BM1 Nicholas Manantan, after the ceremonies on Tuesday.
An escort boat cruised past wreckage of LST 480 in Walker Bay at Hanaloa Point on Tuesday.
Wreckage of LST 480 is seen in Walker Bay at Hanaloa Point.