ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell Leon Sandlin is a disabled Navy Viet Nam veteran, who served two tours in the Southeast Asia Theater of Operations. During those tours of duty with amphibious forces, he was a quartermaster assigned to U.S.S. Racine (LST-1191), operating in the Mekong Delta and Saigon River areas between November 1972 and September 1974.
During his Navy service, U.S.S. Racine often visited Pearl Harbor while in transit between Southeast Asia and the west coast of the United States. On his last return home, using the ships intercom system, he rendered honors to the U.S.S. Arizona (BB-39) memorial as U.S.S. Racine (LST-1191) sailed by. To this day Sandlin considers this moment a great achievement, and the experience has stayed with him all his life.
WHY THE PROJECT
I believe a picture is worth a thousand words. I also believe modeling is worth a thousand pictures. No historical photographs, no matter how much clarity there is, can equal the great detail a model can provide. This U.S. Fleet Recreation, just before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7th 1941, duplicates the strength and appearance of the United Stated Fleet.
This project, in 1/700 scale, has been ongoing since 1981. I have researched the ships of the U.S. Navy in great detail. Many of the models are scratch built using various materials and parts from model ship kits.
I wish to commemorate with this exhibit on December 7th 2016, the 75th anniversary of that day of infamy, and donate this collection to all of America, in the hope this will be a new way to “Remember Pearl Harbor”.
BATTLESHIP DIVISION 3
In December 1941, Battleship Division 3 consisted of USS Arizona (BB-39), USS Nevada (BB-36), and USS California (BB-44). USS Arizona was the division flagship commanded by Rear Admiral Issac Kidd.
CARRIERS LEXINGTON & SARATOGA
These carriers started life as America's first battle cruisers. The 1921 Washington Naval Treaty converted these ships to aircraft carriers. Saratoga added a black stripe on her smoke stack to identify her.
USS SAN FRANCISCO
The USS San Francisco (CA-38) dominated the Pacific naval war by participating in nearly every major sea battle in World War II. San Francisco won 15 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. To read a history of the USS San Francisco, entitled "The First Year of the Pacific War!", simply click here.
DESTROYERS SUBMARINES & PT BOATS
Houndogs of the fleet. They searched and probed dangerous waters, reporting all enemy movements and strengths back to the fleet. They encountered all types of warships.
First a collier, or coal vessel, then America's first aircraft carrier in 1922, and now operating seaplanes, with new carrier construction in 1937, Langley was finally reduced to a seaplane tender.
In 1941 supply, repair & replenishment ships made up the fleet train. Many had dual roles maintaining the fleet. These ships included mine warfare and coastal vessels of various types.