"These Things You Don't Forget…" Don Martin, Pearl Harbor Survivor

By: George McDonald
By: George McDonald

Pearl Harbor, December 7 1941. Like the images of September 11th, the images from the surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Installation shocked and outraged a nation and left the date marking the tragedy etched in our nation's mind.

"I remember it just like it was yesterday of course,” says Don Martin, "These things you just don't forget real easy."

Pearl Harbor survivor Don Martin of Dalewood was a 2nd Class Petty Officer aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia on that faithful Sunday morning in Hawaii.

"We just were not prepared for that surprise attack; we were caught in a relaxed atmosphere. Most of us were sound asleep, just relaxed on Sunday morning, it was a total surprise to everybody," Martin remembers.

Japan's attack killed more than 24 hundred soldiers and civilians. Twenty-one ships were sunk or damaged and 188 aircraft were destroyed.

The attack awoke a sleeping giant and propelled the United State into World War II. Martin says the country must always be on alert and ready and the lessons of Pearl Harbor should always be remembered.


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