Skip to comments.Pearl Harbor survivors and WWII veterans arrive in Honolulu
Posted on 12/03/2016 7:46:10 PM PST by Jyotishi
It was an emotional homecoming for dozens of Pearl Harbor survivors and WWII veterans at Honolulu International Airport Saturday afternoon.
Live bands, hula dancers and other military servicemen and women gathered around Gate 18 to help welcome our nation's bravest.
"I just want thank them for their time and what they've done to sacrifice for this nation," said Joshua Carmack, USN Chief Petty Officer.
Each hero was escorted from the plane down an isle of hugs, handshakes and aloha.
American Airlines sponsored the round-trip 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration Flight, from Los Angeles to Honolulu, which hosted approximately 120 Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII veterans and their companions.
"I feel great," said WWII Veteran Art Staymates. "I think this is a great honor and I'm proud to be here."
"I'm very overwhelmed and very excited to be here and I just cant believe it," said Arthur Ken Allred, another WWII Veteran.
Pearl Harbor survivor, 94-year-old AJ Dunn, said it felt surreal to be back in Hawaii.
Dunn was just 19 years old when Japan launched a series of attacks on the unsuspecting Pacific Fleet.
"I'm feeling good, good to be back over here," he said.
Actor and Humanitarian Gary Sinise also made the trip.
"These are our freedom providers," he said. "We can't take that for granted and what they did here during WWII all those many years ago. We continue to benefit from that."
Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will be performing live on Dec. 5th for a free "Honor. Gratitude. Rock & Roll" concert prior to that evening's "Movie on the Beach."
For more information about the 75th Commemoration, its full schedule and other details, click here.
We are going to this! So excited! Thanks for posting, this will help us plan.
God bless them.
I was in grade school in Philly during WWII
One of my class mates was evacuated along with his mother right after the Japs attacked
Time Magazine is doing a virtual reality feature with Lt. Jim Downing, who at 103 is believed to be the second oldest living survivor. He just published a book, The Other Side of Infamy, which makes him the oldest published male author in the world.
The Time piece is here and looks really cool: http://time.com/4578865/meet-pearl-harbor-veteran-virtual-reality/?xid=fbshare
Visited Pearl Harbor this summer, fulfilling one of the items on my bucket list. Wish I had gone years earlier; strangely enough, I spent 21 years in the Air Force and never came close to the islands, not even for a TDY. One of my good friends was assigned to Hickam AFB twice; obviously, I made some enemies at the Air Force Personnel Center.
All Americans should make the trip to Pearl Harbor. Regardless of background, you come away with a new appreciation of just how fragile and fleeting our freedom would be without the men and women who wear the nation’s uniform. The world changed forever on that Sunday morning in December 75 years ago, and many of those who fought back that morning were only 19 or 20 years old, Naval reservists who had been called into service for only a short duration.
Most were unaware that their previous CINCPAC, Admiral Richardson, had lobbied vigorously for a return of the fleet to San Diego, feeling it was too exposed in Hawaii. For his efforts, Richardson was fired, and the inevitable march towards military disaster began. The armed forces were, of course, much smaller in 1941. To boost enlistments, the Navy allowed brothers to enlist and serve together. There were more than 30 sets of brothers on the Arizona alone; 23 died when the battleship blew up, in the opening moments of the battle.
During my travels around Oahu, I visited Bellows Air Force Station, which is now a military recreation area. Outside the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) equipment rental facility, there is a small marble tablet honoring three Army Air Corps pilots who drove to Bellows on December 7, 1941, and tried to get airborne in their P-40s to challenge the Japanese. One was killed on the ground; another was shot down and had to swim back to shore; the third, Lt George Whiteman, was hit by a burst from a Zero just as he became airborne; he tried to make an emergency landing on the beach but crashed and burned to death in the cockpit.
His mother received word of his loss at the family home in Missouri later that evening. Amazingly, she agreed to meet with a local reporter and told him she understood why her son died and reminded him that many more families would have to make the same sacrifice to win the war.
It was a different time, and we were different people. The few remaining survivors, along with those who have passed on, are deserving of our eternal thanks and gratitude. They saved western civilization, and on many days, I believe we are unworthy of their sacrifice.
Thanks for sharing the thread.
My Dad fought in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor.
We have a DD-Day vet in my building,
He was 17,
Thanks for this post. I’ve recorded a Pearl Harbor special that was on the History Channel earlier tonight. Last week they had a program about the USS Arizona. The National Park Service used a special ROV to go inside the battleship as no one is allowed inside the ship. In one room, the camera on the ROV filmed a Naval uniform hanging neatly on a hanger, as if it had just been put there yesterday.
Id just like to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to each and every WW2 vet. THANK YOU! You saved our country, and pretty much the entire world. We almost lost the country these past 8 years but now there’s a chance it can be saved, restored, rebuilt again. THANK YOU for your service!
My mother was in Hawaii working for a major architectural business as the receptionist. She did not leave when Pearl Harbor was bombed, as so many did. In fact she stopped and watched the attack when she was walking to work. My father was a submarine skipper who racked a record for taking out Japanese vessels. Sculpin 191
may God bless...
the airlines would do well to provide free airfare to the survivors since every year they will be less in number and soon be gone
Bad weather there, over 5” of rain in Honolulu i hear, maybe up to 30” of snow on the Big Island at the observatory.
Was he the skipper when Sculpin hastily put to sea from the Philippines later that day?
Somewhere I have that skipper’s account of his time on the Sculpin in the early days of the war, before it was sunk in the Gilberts in 1943.
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