The “Pennsylvania” was the flagship of the fleet
and was tied up at the main dock in Pearl Harbor.
The 1941 Fleet Championship was slated for 1
PM...but world history changed that as the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
in the early morning hours.
The ship was torpedoed in Buckner Bay and after
patching the hole limped into Puget Sound Navy Yard on Oct 24, 1945.
The following is an excerpt from "Pearl Harbor: A
Crow's Nest Vantage Point"
Dressed in his football pads and uniform,
Michael “Mickey” Ganitch was ready to play one of the many football
games he and other sailors from his ship, the USS Pennsylvania,
participated in regularly. They had a winning record, having only lost
one game. The date was December 7, 1941, and they were scheduled to
leave the ship at 08:00 am to play the 13:00 (1pm) game with the team
from the USS Arizona for the Fleet Football Championship. No one could
have imagined what happened next.
Mickey Ganitch, Mogadore School Class of 1937, All-County Football team
stood out (at only 172 pounds), left Ohio in 1939 after working for the
WPA. He went to California looking for work but found scarce work there
too. So he did as many other men did; he joined the Navy. It was January
1941. He had no idea what trade he would like to pursue in the Navy;
after all, he was a small town boy from Ohio, raised on a farm. So the
Navy tested him. He had always been a good student and placed high on
the Navy tests. An instructor asked him how he would like to steer a big
ship under the Golden Gate Bridge. The largest boat Mickey had ever seen
was a ferry boat, so this sounded exciting to him.
The football game was never played. Later,
Mickey learned when he came home to Ohio on leave in 1942, one of his
neighbors (who went to a different school) was on the Arizona and is
still on it. If the game had been played, they would have played against
each other as they played the same position and had done so in high
school football games.