Pearl Harbor Survivor
Aug 20, 2018
Mickey Ganitch
Pearl Harbor Survivor

Mickey Ganitch enlisted in the Navy on January 21, 1941.  He was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania battleship at Pearl Habor, as an E-1 Seaman Recruit on August 15, 1941. Mr. Ganitch also tried out for, and was selected as a member of the ship’s football team.

On December 6, 1941, the USS Pennsylvania went into dry dock for propeller repairs. The football team was to disembark at 8:00am on December 7 in preparation for the 1:00pm game that day against the USS Arizona for the Fleet Football Championship. Plans changed when, at 7:55am that day, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Mr. Ganitch went up to the crow’s nest in full football uniform where, being 100 feet above the main deck, he had a bird’s eye view of the attack. A 500 pound armor piercing bomb hit close to the smoke stack, about 45 feet from Mr. Ganitch, killing 23 men and injuring others.  Ultimately, more than 2000 Americans were killed in the surprise attack. 

Mr. Ganitch continued to serve throughout WWII and the Korean Conflict. In 1960, after completing recruiting school, he was assigned to recruiting duty at the Post Office in Oakland. “I had come full circle” said Mr. Ganitch, “this is where I enlisted and began my career in the Navy.” Mr. Ganitch retired from the Navy as a Senior Chief Quartermaster on October 10, 1963.

Mickey Ganitch continues to speak and be recognized publicly for his service to his country.  Most recently, he was recognized on December 7, 2017 at The White House by President Trump for the commemoration of  the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, where Mickey serenaded The President with the song “Remember Pearl Harbor”.