Pearl Harbor Veteran Remembers December 7th - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Pearl Harbor Veteran Remembers December 7th

December 7, 1941. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was a nightmarish scene, and 88 year old Bob Crowder was there when the first Japanese wave hit Pearl Harbor.

"It was the shortest day of my life, and yet I didn't think it would ever get over with, but time just flew," said Crowder.

A 21 year old Crowder was on the Seaplane Tender U-S-S Curtis near Battleship Row when torpedo's slammed into several ships. With massive explosions everywhere , he manned a deck gun and fired back.

"Battleship Row was on fire. I could see it, and a destroyer blew up in dry dock. We were right across from that, and there were planes diving at us and we had a submarine attack us. The more I fought the madder I got. I got mad" he said.

Crowder said it wasn't glorious like movies portray, it was a fight for life. He lost 117 of his shipmates.

"I don't care who you are or how brave you are. When the shells start breaking, it shakes the hell out of you," said Crowder.

In the heat of battle, his thoughts were like any serviceman during any time of war.

"I always had a feeling in my head would I run if I got under fire," he said.

He didn't run, but went on to fight at Midway, Saipan , the Coral Sea and Guam, being decorated many times. But to this day he is still haunted by Pearl Harbor.

"I lost some real good friends" Crowder said.  

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are around 2.7 million World War II Veterans living in the U.S. today. The number of Pearl Harbor veterans is unknown.

Bob Hallmark reporting.


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