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Pearl Harbor veterans remember how paradise suddenly turned into hell
The Washington Times ^ | 12/7/11 | Ben Wolfgang

Posted on 12/07/2011 3:31:05 AM PST by Evil Slayer

Edward Davis still can’t believe he made it out alive.

The 90-year-old Army veteran, who has Parkinson’s disease and lives at D.C.’s Armed Forces Retirement Home, still can recall the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.

“I saw how easy, how fast, it is to die,” said Mr. Davis, who went on to fight in World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War.

Mr. Davis is one of an estimated 8,000 U.S. veterans of the attack still living. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that veterans of World War II are dying at a rate of roughly 1,000 per day. Of the 16 million Americans who served in the war, approximately 2.5 million are still alive.

When Mr. Davis enlisted in 1940 at age 17, he was given the choice of where to serve. He chose Pearl Harbor, having heard glowing reports of the “beautiful girls and nice weather” in Hawaii, a stark contrast to his upbringing in the rugged coal region of Pennsylvania.

That decision led to his first brush with death on Dec. 7, 1941. As a young man, Mr. Davis quickly learned how fragile life can be.

The infamous Japanese sneak attack claimed the lives of nearly 2,400 servicemen and women, some of whom Mr. Davis considered friends.

“It was the first time I’d ever seen death like that. I never realized you could die so easily. It’s something that can haunt you. I never forgot.”

Mr. Davis eventually received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as “shell shock” during his days in the military. He also undergoes speech therapy sessions to blunt his worsening Parkinson’s symptoms.

To this day, he ponders why his fellow soldiers were maimed or killed, yet he returned home without physical injury.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Hawaii
KEYWORDS: pearlharbor

1 posted on 12/07/2011 3:31:08 AM PST by Evil Slayer
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To: Evil Slayer

2 posted on 12/07/2011 3:38:47 AM PST by Evil Slayer (Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war)
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To: Evil Slayer
Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

3 posted on 12/07/2011 3:44:38 AM PST by Evil Slayer
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To: Evil Slayer

God Bless Mr Davis and all vets. Hu - ah.

4 posted on 12/07/2011 3:52:38 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Rummyfan; SkyDancer; lysie; LBKQ; Neets
Tremendous stories and men.

I read this morning that airplane pilot, Mituso Fuchida, who participated in the attack on Pearl, found out after the war that he was the only surviving officer of the 90 that were involved in the attack. All the rest perished during the war.

He eventually went into seclusion and farmed a while in Osaka. Later he became inspired by hearing about Christian missionaries, and eventually converted to Christianity.

He served the rest of his life as an evangelical missionary, lecturing in Japan and the United States. He dies in 1976.

5 posted on 12/07/2011 4:12:47 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Evil Slayer

My father-in-law was a ensign aboard the Arizona. He was off duty that Saturday night but worked three straight days on the defense and rescue. He pulled friends bodies out of the wreckage and later in the war was part of the flotilla the staged D-Day. I never even heard of anyone who was at both Pearl Harbor and D-Day. He died in 1988, I learned all of this from my mother-in-law; my father-in-law never mentioned it.

6 posted on 12/07/2011 4:17:55 AM PST by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion)
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To: Evil Slayer

Even tho the movie itself sucked... The attack scene from Pearl Harbor was simply amazing... I cant imagine being in that kind of Hell...

7 posted on 12/07/2011 4:23:14 AM PST by wyowolf
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To: Evil Slayer
There's a regular that comes into the fitness center where I work. On December 7, 1941, he was an 18 year old sailor stationed at Kaneohe Bay when the Japanese attacked. He eventually became a Navy Commander and retired in the mid-1960's....

The man is still ramrod straight, walks with a gait and does his morning workout on the treadmill.

8 posted on 12/07/2011 4:49:56 AM PST by MuttTheHoople (Democrats- Forgetting 9/11 since 9/12/01)
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To: Evil Slayer

My Dad was there on the Solace. Saw the whole thing as he was on the deck.

He died in 2007 at the age of 97 - Only heard him tell the story twice. Wasn’t something he liked to think about

9 posted on 12/07/2011 5:20:35 AM PST by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: muir_redwoods

America tips its hat to your father in law. My dad left Pearl Harbor shortly before it was a flotilla headed towards the Battle of Midway. My brother in law was awarded the bronze star and purple heart. He was on the John D Ford...2 stacker..all quiet on the deck except for gunnersmate Ransom Mckean. God bless all the brave men that rallied and fought for this nation and those on the home front that supported them. America was a very patriotic nation at that time..even Hollywood made movies and went on big tours for our troops. Times have changed...(and I wasnt born yet but know these things from my parents )

10 posted on 12/07/2011 5:24:38 AM PST by katiedidit1 ("This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." the Irish)
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The ultimate action that ended the war against Japan. Thank you, Harry Truman.

My fellow Americans, the British, Chinese and United States governments have given the Japanese people adequate warning of what is in store for them. The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and unfortunately thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately and save themselves.

President Harry S. Truman

11 posted on 12/07/2011 5:28:24 AM PST by Evil Slayer
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To: Rummyfan
I was at the local watering hole yesterday with the regulars, which includes a WWII veteran. He was already in the Coast Guard when the war broke out. I asked: "Jack, where were you when Pearl Harbor happened?" He said: "It's funny you ask, we were just talking about that. I enlisted on December 8th 1938 for a three year hitch. My duty was over on Dec. 7th 1941. When that happened, they told me I could muster out, but then I would have to go back to Detroit and be drafted into the Army. Well that didn't sound too good to me, so I stayed on with my shipmates."

He was then sent to the Pacific Theater where he was a commander of landing-crafts. One of his stories of how he got stranded on Guadalcanal with the Marines for a few days.

He's 91, but you would mistake him for a man in his late 70's. He comes out everyday to have two beers with us.

12 posted on 12/07/2011 5:37:58 AM PST by gigster (Cogito, Ergo, Ronaldus Magnus Conservatus)
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To: Evil Slayer

2.5 million WWII vets are still left? Modern medicine at work. I read somewhere that there were about 400,000 WWI vets living in 1990. Since the 70th anniversary of that war was in 1984, we can assume there were significantly less of them then.

I’m guessing we’ll have these guys around a good 20-25 years yet. Russian vets will probably be gone first due to shorter life expectancies there.

13 posted on 12/07/2011 5:49:39 AM PST by Strk321
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To: Evil Slayer; All
Doolittle Raid Recalled Almost 70 Years Later
14 posted on 12/07/2011 6:08:11 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Evil Slayer

I had an older cousin (now deceased) who was a young Naval Officer stationed at Pearl Harbor at that time. On 12-7-41 he was off duty. Being married, he was allowed to live off base. He and his wife were having breakfast when he heard the sound of guns - big guns. He turned to her and said, “Funny, I don’t remember gunnery practice being scheduled for today.”

To those who were at Pearl Harbor, those who were lost and those who survived, a grateful and pround American says “Thank you and God bless you and yours.”

15 posted on 12/07/2011 8:46:22 AM PST by ixtl ( You live and learn. Or you don't live long.)
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To: Evil Slayer
I'm intrigued by the candlelight vigils held every year in remembrance of what the U.S. did to the Japanese with those horrible bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I've been scanning the headlines this A.M. looking for similar vigils to be held in observance of Pearl Harbor Day.

Haven't found any yet...

16 posted on 12/07/2011 8:57:11 AM PST by daler
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