- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 8, 2001

BALTIMORE Sixty years ago, the 327-foot U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney was firing its guns at Japanese Zeros attacking a power plant near Pearl Harbor. Yesterday, the last surviving ship of the fleet that endured the Japanese sneak attack December 7, 1941, peacefully hosted a memorial service for 600 military veterans, politicians and civilians who had come in honor of those who died that day.
Traffic flowing by Pier 5 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor yesterday may not have even noticed the Taney, which is tucked behind Barnes & Noble, ESPN Sportszone and the Hard Rock Cafe, but history certainly will.
The ship took a pounding during its 50 years of active service. It was attacked by kamikazes more than a hundred times while serving as a command ship during the Okinawa campaign in World War II, it was part of a stop-and-search blockade during the Vietnam War and it ended its days helping fight the sea war on drugs.
"I'm here today because I'm an American and I don't want to forget this day, like Mr. Roosevelt said," said Raymond H. Glock, 68, a Korean War veteran, speaking as if President Roosevelt had only yesterday called upon Americans to remember the date of December 7 as one that "will live in infamy."
Mr. Glock remembers. "I'm a very patriotic person, and I'm here to remember the boys that didn't come home."
He was not alone. Acts of remembrance were all around him. Coast Guard Chaplain Capt. Leroy Gilbert lead prayers. A Maryland Army National Guardsman in a helicopter dropped a wreath in the water near the ship. Seven members of the U.S. Coast Guard honor guard raised their rifles and fired three ceremonial volleys. Moments later three jet fighters flew over and those aboard the Taney sang "God Bless America."
"Our best days aren't necessarily our easiest days," said Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley. "I think a lot of people took comfort in being together today as Americans," the mayor said. "We're not a nation of quitters."
Overshadowed by the tall buildings of downtown Baltimore, the Taney lay at berth in an eerily familiar position 60 years ago at Pearl Harbor the Taney was docked beneath the tall Honolulu Power Plant, Aloha Tower, one of many Japanese targets that day.
Five Japanese planes attacked the Taney, intent on destroying it and the power plant. The Taney drove them off. "With all our guns blazing away at them, they soon turned seaward with one plane reported to be smoking," wrote Homer T. Compton in a survivor's account.
The Taney's crew were quick off the mark. It had its guns manned and firing four minutes after the alarm sounded, making it one of the first U.S. ships to return fire against the Japanese. The attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 military personnel and civilians, sank or damaged 18 U.S. warships, and destroyed or damaged more than 300 U.S. planes.
The Taney was decommissioned in 1986. Soon it arrived in Baltimore, where it has served as part of the Baltimore Maritime Museum. "The Taney has such an incredible history. Not too many ships are able to serve for 50 years. It's a tribute to the way it was built and to how it was maintained," the museum's director, John Kellet, said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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