1941 – Wisconsin Man Survives Pearl Harbor Attack

On this date Russ Warriner, a 25-year-old first class seaman on the USS, miraculously survived the . The explosions ripped apart the and killed nearly all his mates. At the time of the attack, Warriner was on the sky control platform, where his job was to spot enemy ships and planes. The bomb that struck the Arizona sliced through the steel deck and exploded into a fuel tank. Fire flared for seven seconds before it ignited 1.7 million pounds of explosives held in the ship’s magazine. More than 1,000 sailors died instantly, including many on the lookout platform with Warriner. Warriner lost his balance and fell onto the platform. His hands swept through fiery magnesium remaining from incendiary bombs and were nearly burned off. He was knocked off the ship, pulled aboard a small motor boat, and eventually made his way to shore. Warriner was treated at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, where plastic surgeons were able to repair his hands. Warriner settled in Wisconsin, married and raised two children. In the late 90s, Warriner was a retired piano tuner living in Beloit Township. [Source: ]