Survivors recall horror of Pearl Harbor
Sunday morning -- December 7th, 1941.
Francis Stueve, an artillery man in the Army Air Corps, was eating breakfast in his barracks when the Japanese surprise attack began.
“All at once they shot through the window and knocked the butter dish off the table,” says Stueve, now 84.
He calls that day horrendous. Altogether, about 2,400 Americans lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Twelve ships sank or were beached and 164 planes were destroyed.
“You can't imagine how many people were hit and injured and hollering and trying to get help,” Stueve says.
Eight miles away, an anti-aircraft shell exploded in the yard next door to Houston Wynn's home.
“Decided it might be Chinese New Year’s - the landlady came rushing down the hall, pounding on doors, "We're under attack, we're under attack,” says the 95-year-old survivor.
14-year-old Bud Kloss was at home reading the comics when he heard an airplane. He stood and watched as the planes dove an dropped bombs.
“The harbor just exploded,” says Kloss, now 84.
Betty Kenealy's father loaded his family in the car as soon as he saw the Japanese planes. They stayed with friends 30 minutes away while her father returned to Pearl Harbor to rescue victims on the attacked ships. She was 9-years-old at the time.
“He talked about how he could hear men hammering inside the confined rooms trying to get out,” says Kenealy. “Some people they couldn't get to.”
President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7th 1941 a date which will live in infamy. And these four survivors call it one of the most momentous days of their lives.
“I know as time goes by many of us are dying. No longer living, it's gone,” Kenealy says. “But I myself will never forget it.”
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