PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — When John D. Anderson reached his battle station in the USS Arizona’s No. 4 turret that morning, he realized the gigantic guns could do nothing against the swarms of attacking Japanese airplanes.
But his twin brother, Delbert “Jake” Anderson, was manning an antiaircraft gun out on deck, and was in the thick of the action. “He needs help,” John told his turret commander, and asked if could join his brother.
Both men were 24. The sons of a judge, they were born in Verona, N.D., in 1917. Both had joined the Navy in 1936. John was a boatswain’s mate second class; Jake, a boatswain’s mate first class.
Both wound up on the Arizona, which at that moment on Dec. 7, 1941, was a maelstrom of fire, smoke and explosions.
They would never meet up that Sunday morning, and only one would survive the day.
Wednesday, 75 years later, John Anderson’s ashes are to be interred underwater in the remnants of his old turret, rejoining Jake, whose body was never recovered from the ship.
Their reunion, on the anniversary of the attack, brings together one twin who enjoyed a long and varied life, and one whose life stopped at Pearl Harbor.
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