F3c Ronald Endicott

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Ronald Burdette Endicott

Also Known As: "16 days to die"
Birthplace: Skykomish King County Washington
Death: December 23, 1941 (18)
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States (Suffocated aboard the USS West Virginia)
Place of Burial: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph Burdette Endicott and Vera M. Simpson
Brother of Shirley Juanita Duclos and Gerald Simpson

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About F3c Ronald Endicott

Firemean 3rd Class Endicott was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. He was assigned to the USS West Virginia.


After the initial attack, Endicott and 2 buddies were sitting on the harbor floor completely surrounded by water, 40 feet down. Cutting through the side of the hull for rescue was out of the question. The smallest of holes in a pressurized compartment would cause a "blow-out", something Submariners knew well. Besides, considering the destruction and carnage above, the problems of three men didn't amount to a "hill of beans" to busy Navy Brass. All Sailors know they are expendable after "set zed". Concerned Shipmates pin-pointed their banging as coming from the bow section, but could do nothing. Clifford Olds' friend Jack Miller had a sinking feeling Olds was trapped. He knew the pump station well, as Cliff would often invite him there for "bull sessions". It was so air-tight, they often closed the hatch and dared people to hear them cursing wildly inside.

Late spring 1942 found Navy salvage teams finally getting to work on the WV. Enough water pumped out to partially float the once grand ship. BB48 was nudged across the Harbor into drydock and the grim task of finding bodies began. For Commander Paul Dice this compartment was different. Dice first noticed the interior was dry and flashlight batteries and empty ration cans littered the floor. A manhole cover to a fresh water supply was opened. Then he saw the calendar. It was 12"x14" and marked with big red Xs that ended December 23.

Hardened salvage workers wept uncontrollably as they realized the fate of these men. Word quickly spread among salvage crews: Three men had lived for 16 days to suffer the most agonizing deaths among the 2800 victims at Pearl Harbor.



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F3c Ronald Endicott's Timeline

January 28, 1923
Skykomish King County Washington
December 23, 1941
Age 18
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States
Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States