World War II Veteran and Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ned Shanaman, shares his experinces of military service.

            At its regular meeting on March 27, 2012, the Rotary Club of Lebanon PA was honored to have Lebanon County native, Ned Shanaman, share his experience of Pearl Harbor and military service.
            Enlisting into the U.S. Navy in November 1940, Ned found himself onboard the USS Medusa, a repair ship, as a machinist.  He and some buddies were due to head out for liberty just before 8:00 am on Sunday, December 7, 1941.  That’s when the general alarm sounded.  Thinking that it was just another drill, no one moved.  Then the general alarm sounded again and it was followed by an announcement, “Man your battle stations, men.  This is no drill, this is war.”
            Ned’s battle station was the ‘lookout’ on the top deck.  As he reached the boat deck, a Japanese plane approached his position.  Natural instinct took over and Ned “hit the deck”.  After the plane passed by, Ned got up and noticed the bullet holes in the wooden deck just inches from where he was lying.  Minutes later, he was given an order to help with retrieving ammunition from the magazine deck.  As he was following that order, another announcement came over the loud speaker, “submarine, dead astern!”   Ned quickly made his way back up top to the rear of the ship and he could see the two-man, Japanese submarine just off the stern of the Medusa.  The crew of the Medusa managed to sink that submarine with its deck gun.
            Ned mentioned how fortunate he and his shipmates were as the situation for them could have been a lot worse.  Normally, their ship is tendered along “battleship row”, more specifically, next to the USS Arizona.  Fortunately for the crew of the Medusa, they were awaiting the arrival of the aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise and they were moored on the other side of the harbor.
            Ned shared the story of how he met his wife, Clara Belle.  As was customary in the days of World War II, serviceman would receive letters from “home”.  He began to receive and write letters with Clara, a tradition that went on for three years; prior to having ever met Clara.  As fate would have it, Clara was working for Carlos R. Leffler in Richland and was living in the Women’s Club in Lebanon.  They would be married in 1947 and enjoyed sixty years of marriage till Clara’s death in 2007.
            Ned would remain in Pearl Harbor until he was reassigned to the USS Wheaton.  From 1945 – January 1946, Ned traveled more than 46,000 miles in the South Pacific with stops in the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Japan, and Okinawa.  His crew was responsible for making repairs to the USS Enterprise after the Battle of Midway.
            Ned is one of fourteen children and will be 92 years old this July.