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:
Tom Miller of Youngwood
Pfc. Tom Miller, then from Mt. Pleasant, was eating breakfast at Schofield Barracks when waves of Japanese aircraft arrived.
“The dishes started to rattle,” Miller, 93, recalled recently at his Youngwood home with his wife, Angeline. “We quit eating and went out to see what was going on.”
Once they realized what was happening, Miller said he and the rest of the 98th Coastal Artillery Regiment could do little to counter what was happening.
“Because we were supposed to go on maneuvers on Monday, our guns were all in traveling position,” he said.
That night, he pulled watch on a lonely stretch of beach along the eastern shore of Oahu.
“Everyone was scared,” he said. “There were two men at each post, and you kept looking at the ocean.”
Miller imagined Japanese soldiers coming ashore, with the awful prospect of a battle to the death on the beach. He was relieved when dawn broke.
Miller spent the first years of the war on Oahu. Re-christened the 755th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, his outfit later shipped out to the Pacific island of Tawara.
Steve Jager of Arnold
The attack shook Steve Jager awake.
“When the bombs hit that morning, they were close enough to our building that (it) … was shaken and the flames were shooting up into the air, and I didn’t know what in the world it was,” said Jager, 91, of Arnold.
In the Army’s 24th Infantry Division, Jager installed telegraph and radio communications, setting up defense positions for troops.
A few days later, an article about Jager appeared in the Valley Daily News with the headline “Creighton Boy in Hawaii alive, well.”
He spent the rest of the war as a staff sergeant with duties in Hawaii, Australia, New Guinea and the South Pacific. After his service, Jager worked at West Penn Power in Springdale.
For years, he didn’t talk about Pearl Harbor, until a Valley Middle School teacher asked him to speak to students.
“(She) instilled in me the thought that I’m indebted to the guys who died,” Jager said. “Since I’m alive, I think I should keep their memory alive.”
A member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Jager doesn’t hesitate when someone asks him about Pearl Harbor.
“Being alive at my age, I think I am indebted to them to keep it alive for as long as I can.”
Staff writer Rossilynne Skena contributed to this report
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