Here is a portion of an article from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review :
Dwindling number of Pearl Harbor survivors recall that fateful day
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Most Western Pennsylvanians who survived the “date which will live in infamy” are in their late 80s or early 90s. Here are a few of their stories about that day:
Nelson Ferguson of Plum
Nelson Ferguson of Plum remembers sirens blaring, and then a shell whizzed by.
Serving in the Army’s 24th Infantry Division, he was staying at a boarding house in Honolulu, planning to do some Christmas shopping.
“We heard something whistle by the roof,” said Ferguson, 91. “You could hear it sizzling. … And we got out of there in a hurry.”
He hopped a bus back to Schofield Barracks, where guards scrutinized him at the gate to make sure he wasn’t a spy.
Because Ferguson worked with messages and codes, he stayed at the command post in Oahu, sleeping on a cot.
“They would be afraid that if I got captured, they would force me to tell the code,” Ferguson said.
He once risked friendly fire when delivering messages across the island. “If something moved after dark, it would get shot at,” he said.
Ferguson grew up in Monroeville, the oldest of 11 children. He worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps for two years and joined the Army at 18, serving from 1938 to 1945. He later worked for U.S. Steel Research.
“(Nelson) spent a lot of time devoted to his country,” said his wife, Joyce. “And he’s very proud of that.”
Rose Marie Jewart of Vandergrift
Rose Marie Jewart and her family arrived home from church that morning and were climbing the 45 steps to their veranda when they saw a plane approaching Pearl Harbor.
It flew so low that Jewart, then 8, saw the pilot and red circle beneath the wings. She said to her granddad: “That’s not Americans.”
“He turned on the radio, and the voice came on: ‘We are being attacked. All civilians go up to the mountains. We are being attacked.’ “
Jewart, 77, of Vandergrift remembers planes circling and people panicking. She was scared for her father, who worked as a civilian on ships tearing down and rebuilding boilers. He evacuated the USS Arizona on a dinghy.
Other family members worked on a California Packing sugar plantation, where tides brought bodies ashore.
“They told the kids, ‘All right, go pick it up and put it in the ambulance,’ ” Jewart said. “Everybody had a job.”
Life was tough after the attack. Most food was imported and “they couldn’t allow the ships to come through because of the enemy submarines.”
She didn’t understand why many of her Japanese friends ended up in detention camps behind barbed wire. “Mom said, ‘Well they don’t know who the enemy is.’ I said, ‘But they’re children.’ “
In 1956, Jewart moved to Pennsylvania with her husband, Jack, whom she met in Hawaii. She worked for Kiski Area School District in the cafeteria and as a crossing guard.
She cannot forget Pearl Harbor.
“It never leaves. It becomes part of your life.”
Staff writer Rossilynne Skena contributed to this report
Picture of Roy after he had recovered at the hospital. Picture of Roy below in the hospital recovering from his injuries followed by a picture of Roy encouraging another soldier who was in the hospital: Below is an article that was published in November of 2010 in the Saline Courier: Saline County War Hero Bryant [...]
Okinawa – At the Emperor’s Doorstep” episode from “WWII: GI Diary”….. This old 1978 TV docu-drama was narrated by Lloyd Bridges and told the stories of real soldiers/sailors/pilots and their first-hand experiences in battle. Archival footage and good background music really made the stories come alive…..about 25 episodes were made. Video converted from really old [...]
President Reagan and Senator Barry Goldwater present the fourth star to General Jimmy Doolittle during a White House ceremony in the Indian Treaty room, OEOB. 6/20/85. I love the movie “Pearl Harbor” with Ben Affleck and it tells the story of Jimmy Doolittle. He was born in 1896 and died in 1993. He is pictured [...]
This portion below appeared in an article I did for the Saline Courier about 18 months ago: I went to the First Baptist Church in Little Rock from 1983 to 1997, and during that time I became friends with Walter Dickinson Sr. In fact, we used to attend a weekly luncheon together on Thursdays. Just [...]
The Lost Evidence: The Battle Of The Bulge (1/5) This article was published in the Saline Courier about 18 months ago: When we celebrate July 4th we are focusing on the freedoms that so many soldiers have fought for over the last 234 years. That focus has been highlighted for me since my son Hunter [...]
This is taken from an article that appeared in the Saline Courier about a year ago: Bravery is not just limited to one generation, but Americans have had it in every generation. It makes me think about those who are currently serving in our military. Jon Chris Roberts who is graduate of Benton High [...]
I was born in Tennessee and everyone in Tennessee knows the name of Alvin York. Above is a clip about his accomplishments in War World I. Cara Gist of Shannon Hills tells me that her grandfather Herbert S. Apple of Salado, Arkansas (near Batesville) fought in World War I. He served in France and fought [...]
My longtime friend Craig Carney is originally from Jacksonville, and he told me a couple of years ago about a friend of his parents from Jacksonville, Arkansas named Silas Legrow. Legrow was going to speak at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History on April 17, 2008 about his experience in the March of 1942 when [...]
The Background Facts of The Black Hawk Down (1/7) Uploaded by WarDocumentary on Feb 14, 2011 The movie Black Hawk Down was based on an actual event that took place in Mogadishu, Somalia. This documentary explains the event. _______________________________ On October 3, 2003 my son played quarterback at the Arkansas Baptist High School Football game [...]
Below I have the story of Joe Speaks who fought in Europe and was captured twice by the Germans. Photo by Associated Press American GI’s clamber into a landing craft as they prepare to hit the beaches along France’s Normandy coast in June 1944. The World War II operation was part of the massive Allied [...]