USS Arizona survivor returns to fallen brothers[MIGRATE]

By Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez | December 23, 2011

Photos
Daniel Martinez (left), a chief historian for Hawaii’s National Park Service, and Col. Nathan Nastase (right), commanding officer of 3rd Marine Regiment, escort Frank R. Cabiness’ urn to the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23 for his interment ceremony. Cabiness was a part of the Marine detachment aboard the USS Arizona and survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Daniel Martinez (left), a chief historian for Hawaii’s National Park Service, and Col. Nathan Nastase (right), commanding officer of 3rd Marine Regiment, escort Frank R. Cabiness’ urn to the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23 for his interment ceremony. Cabiness was a part of the Marine detachment aboard the USS Arizona and survived the attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment stand at attention during Frank R. Cabiness’ interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Although Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and laid to rest with more than a thousand fallen comrades who perished during the attack on the USS Arizona.

Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment stand at attention during Frank R. Cabiness’ interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Although Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and laid to rest with more than a thousand fallen comrades who perished during the attack on the USS Arizona. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Jerry Cabiness, son of Frank R. Cabiness, passes the urn containing his father’s remains to the National Park Service Dive Team during his interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Survivors of the attacks of the USS Arizona can be interred at the USS Arizona Memorial.

Jerry Cabiness, son of Frank R. Cabiness, passes the urn containing his father’s remains to the National Park Service Dive Team during his interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Survivors of the attacks of the USS Arizona can be interred at the USS Arizona Memorial. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment conduct a rifle salute to honor Frank R. Cabiness, one of 15 Marine survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona, during an interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Cabiness is only the second Marine to be interred at the memorial.

Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment conduct a rifle salute to honor Frank R. Cabiness, one of 15 Marine survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona, during an interment ceremony here Dec. 23. Cabiness is only the second Marine to be interred at the memorial. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Staff Sgt. Raymond M. Shinohara, Marine coordinator for the interment ceremony, salutes Frank R. Cabiness’ flag after presenting it to his son, Jerry Cabiness, at the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23. Although Frank Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and rejoined his fallen comrades after being laid to rest inside the hull of the USS Arizona.

Staff Sgt. Raymond M. Shinohara, Marine coordinator for the interment ceremony, salutes Frank R. Cabiness’ flag after presenting it to his son, Jerry Cabiness, at the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23. Although Frank Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and rejoined his fallen comrades after being laid to rest inside the hull of the USS Arizona. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Catherine Tuck and her father, Jerry Cabiness, unveil Frank R. Cabiness’ name during an interment ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23. Frank R. Cabiness, a Marine survivor of the attack on the USS Arizona, is the second Marine to be interred at the memorial.

Catherine Tuck and her father, Jerry Cabiness, unveil Frank R. Cabiness’ name during an interment ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23. Frank R. Cabiness, a Marine survivor of the attack on the USS Arizona, is the second Marine to be interred at the memorial. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Catherine Tuck, granddaughter of Frank R. Cabiness, drops flowers into the dedication well of the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23 in honor of her grandfather. Although Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and rejoined his fallen comrades after being laid to rest inside the hull of the USS Arizona.

Catherine Tuck, granddaughter of Frank R. Cabiness, drops flowers into the dedication well of the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23 in honor of her grandfather. Although Cabiness passed away in 2002, he was granted his final wish and rejoined his fallen comrades after being laid to rest inside the hull of the USS Arizona. (Photo by Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

The December rain in Hawaii gave way to a bright and windy day on the USS Arizona Memorial, where a Marine was laid to rest with his fallen brothers.

Frank R. Cabiness was interred at the USS Arizona Memorial here Dec. 23, becoming just the second Marine survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor to have his remains placed inside the hull of the ship.

Cabiness, a private first class assigned to the Marine detachment aboard the USS Arizona, was on the flag detail the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The attack started just before the detail was to raise the ship’s morning colors.

Cabiness immediately climbed to his battle station 80 feet above the deck of the ship. He said he didn’t notice, or couldn’t remember the explosion that sunk the USS Arizona, but when he looked down, the whole front of the ship was gone.

Because of the damage, he and the other 14 Marines present were given orders to get off the ship. Cabiness slid down the ladders so fast, his hands blistered. To escape the ship, he swam through burning waters to Ford Island.

After his service in the Marine Corps, Cabiness eventually moved to Texas and passed away on May 14, 2002. But from the time he enlisted in September 1940 to the day he died, he never forgot the friends he made aboard the USS Arizona.

“He had always expressed that when he died, he wanted to be interred at the Arizona,” said Jerry Cabiness, Frank Cabiness’ son.

“I lost all of my good friends …,” said Frank Cabiness during an interview with the Dallas Morning Sun before he died. “I never had another close friend after, that’s because it was too hard… my friends were at their battle stations when they died.”

Seventy years after that infamous December morning, and 10 years after his death, the wish to rejoin his fellow shipmates entombed in the USS Arizona was finally granted. Cabiness joined 33 Sailors who had previously been interred, as well as his fellow Marine, Pfc. James E. Cory.

As the divers took the urn from the hands of Cabiness’ son and dipped beneath the water, his family shed their final tears.

“(It’s rewarding) doing the service for the family,” said Staff Sgt. Raymond M. Shinohara, the Marine coordinator for the interment. “It shows that we as a Corps are strong and will take care of our own.”

The ceremony was not filled with people mourning the Marine’s death, but with his family, the National Park Service and the Marine Corps honoring his heroism and celebrating the long life he lived after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Together, they were able to grant him his final wish.

“He is my hero,” Jerry Cabiness said. “I can’t think of a more honorable man that I’ve ever known. This is fitting for his life and a fitting memorial to the men who perished in the ship.”