Skip to comments.Pearl Harbor veterans remember how paradise suddenly turned into hell
Posted on 12/07/2011 3:31:05 AM PST by Evil Slayer
Edward Davis still cant believe he made it out alive.
The 90-year-old Army veteran, who has Parkinsons 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 Id ever seen death like that. I never realized you could die so easily. Its 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 Parkinsons 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 washingtontimes.com ...
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
God Bless Mr Davis and all vets. Hu - ah.
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.
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.
Even tho the movie itself sucked... The attack scene from Pearl Harbor was simply amazing... I cant imagine being in that kind of Hell...
The man is still ramrod straight, walks with a gait and does his morning workout on the treadmill.
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
America tips its hat to your father in law. My dad left Pearl Harbor shortly before it was hit...in 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 )
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
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.
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.
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.”
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...