PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Today marks the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
And a piece of that historic day is on display for the Pittsburgh community to see — an artifact from a sunken battleship.
The rare artifact found its home at the Soldiers and Sailors museum. It’s a memory of a time past and reminder of the tragedy at Pearl Harbor.
With every passing second, the clock from the U.S.S. Oklahoma brings is a reminder of Dec. 7, 1941.
The museum’s artifacts are kept locked in a vault until they’re ready to be displayed.
And it’s artifacts like the clock, as small as they may be, that remind us of the attack where thousands lost their lives and many more were injured.
Each piece has a story to tell, including the clock, which went down with its ship.
“It was there. If it could tell a story,” Michael Krause with the Soldiers and Sailor Museum said. “It does. When you hold it in your hands, you kind of get that vibe, that history vibe. You know that it survived the attack.”
Based on the etchings on the back, the clock was believed to have been in the galley.
Those etchings also confirm its authenticity.
“Commissioned Ship,” Krause read off the clock. “O-K-L-A, Okla.”
After it was recovered in the mid-40s, it found its way to an army-navy store in Altoona and then to the home of Don Heller in Marionville, PA, who recently donated it to the museum in Oakland.
The most asked question is about the time frozen on its face.
“Its a few minutes before three on the clock and we wish that was the time it stopped because it was in the water, but I think Mr. Heller used it in his house to tell you the truth,” Krause said. “So it may just reflect the last time he wound it.”
The clock will eventually found its way to the museum.
The museum plans to incorporate it into a new “War in the Pacific” exhibit, which will hopefully be ready by the summer.