Edward M. Vecera, Senior Chief, born May 8, 1921, Richmond, IN, and
enlisted in the USN March 14, 1939. He attended basic training at
Newport, RI. On Dec. 7,1941, he was serving aboard the USS West
Virginia (BB-48) at Pearl Harbor.
The West Virginia sank and burned at her moorings after receiving
numerous bombs and torpedos by Japanese planes. She was berthed between
the USS Arizona and the USS Oklahoma. Vecera was picked up by a passing
motor launch in the burning harbor and reassigned to yard patrol, USS
Sacramento and USS Azurlite.
He participated in the battle of Midway and in December 1943 returned
to the States for commissioning of the USS Brush (DD-745) in New York.
In April 1944 Brush headed for the Pacific via Panama and participated
in major strikes against the Japanese Islands, including the Palaus,
Philippines, Formosa, South China Sea, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and the
Japanese home islands. Brush dodged Japanese suicide planes and boats,
three typhoons and floating mines. In mid-July 1945, Brush was the lead
destroyer in a moonlight foray against a Japanese convoy in the mouth
of Tokyo Bay, sinking two enemy ships and damaging two others with
Vecera was one of only a few men whose ship was sunk at Pearl Harbor
who was in Tokyo Bay during the signing of the Japanese surrender. He
was among the first to be promoted to senior chief.
He retired from Tappan Appliance Corp. where he was a national sales manager.
Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing
Edward's brother Guy was also a Pearl Harbor Survivor on the USS West Virginia.