The Last Letter Home of John George Dine
Fireman, Second Class, U.S.S. Arizona

On Thanksgiving day, 1941, John George Dine wrote his last letter home while aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. The letter is addressed to his brother Phil Dine and dated November 20, 1941. He died in the subsequent Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7th, 1941. He was nineteen years old. The letter reached home one week after his death.

Click on a photo to see a larger image. A complete transcript of the letter appears at the bottom of this page.

Johhny George Dine

Personal photo taken while in the Navy.

Arizona At Sea 1

U.S.S. Arizona at sea

Johhny George Dine

Second photo taken while in the Navy.

Pearl Harbor

Aerial view of attack on Pearl Harbor



Battleship Row

Overhead view of Battleship Row during attack

Front Side of Letter

Front side of letter,
written on U.S.S. Arizona stationary

Direct Hit on Arizona

Direct hit on U.S.S. Arizona

Back Side Of Letter

Back side of letter

Arizona Burning

U.S.S. Arizona burning

Flag Poster

U.S. Flag Poster

Arizona Memorial

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

Shrine Room

Shrine Room at the Memorial

Transcript of letter, complete with misspellings and punctuation as it was originally written.

Nov. 20, 1941

Dear Phil,

Just a few lines to let you know I am well and hope this letter find you all the same. As a sailor says who has got the wrong news Bum dope. Here is the latest dope we are suppoes to go back the 28 of this month but that is just dope you cant depend on that. I tell you what when we get it straight from the captain, I will write you a letter by clipper, so you can tell the flocks for sure that I am coming. Here is one more thing that has me worried, you cant get leave unless you can get back to the ship within 12 hours. So if they call me do you think you might be able to get the old mans car and take me back to the ship in 12 hours time.

Well today is Thanksgiving so to all of you home I whish you the best thanksgiving you ever had, that comes from the bottom of my heart, I am awful sorry that I cant be there with you, but it cant be done. But if all goes right I will be home before Xmas here is hoping. This time I am sending you a couple of snap shots so take your pick, When I get home I will see if I can't fix you up with a nurse, but not mine. Say phil what did the floks say cause I didnt send 20 dollars, this month, I really did need the money, so tell mom I am sorry but you cant do what your whant in here when they say you got to have certain items well you are going to have them thast all to it. When you wrote the last letter you did not put my full address on it so this put on, A Divlon,

I will have to close give my love to all, believe me or not, but out here all the fellows call me Johnny so here I am sineing off whit love Johnny.

P.S. forgive the hand write but I smell the turkey in the oven.

Notes: The concern over getting back to the ship within 12 hours is because his hometown of Fresno, CA was 350 miles away from where the ship would dock. And this in the day when car travel was significantly slower. Although his first name was John, he was always called George at home.

This site is dedicated to the men and women of the United States Armed Services - to those who gave their lives and to those who continue to risk their lives in the name of defending freedom everywhere. I hope and pray that a nineteen year old kid writing home from Afghanistan today does not have their letter end up being a part of their family history such as this one did. Comments may be directed to

Site created by Phil O Dein (Original German spelling of family name), son of Philip Dein, as noted in letter.