Pearl Harbor survivor publishes book about Navy experiences

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - According to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, there are only 36 registered Pearl Harbor veterans still alive in Mississippi and Tennessee.

One of those survivors, Covington resident Bill Jim Davis, is publishing a book about his unique naval experiences.

Davis considers himself a lucky man.

"It was a Sunday morning and everything was supposed to be quiet and that's the reason it was such a surprise," he said.

Davis was in his living quarters aboard the USS Helena on December 7, 1941 - the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

His brother, Rob Roy, was also aboard the ship.

"I worried about my brother up forward," he said. "I didn't know what happened to him for over 30 days after the experience.  I didn't know whether or not he made it or not."

It's been nearly 70 years since that attack, a long enough time that Davis thought now was an appropriate to publish his manuscripts, entitled "Abandon Ship: A Survivor's Story."

Besides Pearl Harbor, Davis recounts the time the Japanese torpedoed the Helena and sunk the ship in Kula Gulf.

Before being rescued, Davis floated in six inches of fuel oil for two hours, after the Helena sunk.

"I can remember when I got aboard ship my hair had grease all over it and my clothes were soaked in oil," he said.

Bill Jim Davis says his World War II experience is something he doesn't want to re-live, but he is happy he took a front seat to history as America fought for its freedom from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo.

Bill Jim Davis will be signing copies of his book "Abandon Ship: A Survivors Story" on Saturday February 6 from 10 AM until 1 PM at the Covington Tipton County Public Library.

You can also purchase the book on Amazon.

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