MD Pearl Harbor Survivors Dwindling | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

MD Pearl Harbor Survivors Dwindling

Play associated audio

By Jonathan Wilson

Clarence J.M. Davis, the State Chairman of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, was just 18-years-old when the attack happened. "I was looking out a porthole and I saw this huge explosion," says Davis.

Davis says when it first started, he thought it was probably an accident or a training maneuver gone wrong. It was more than that, of course, it was the event that pulled the nation into a World War.

Robert Van Druff was on the USS Aylwin at the time; he says Pearl Harbor was nothing like the terror of combat he faced many times after that day in 1941. "Pearl, it was just surprising," says Van Druff. "You weren't scared, you were just astonished about what was going on. Altogether different," says Van Druff.

Only two other Pearl Harbor survivors joined Davis and Van Druff at today's wreath laying ceremony at the Maryland WWII memorial. Many are too ill or weak to attend.

Davis says losing friends to illness and old age is harder than recounting the chaos of the attack. "Its hard to talk about it sometimes, but what hurts the most is when you have to go to the funerals. It hurts," says Davis.

Eight members of the Maryland Pearl Harbor Survivors Association died this year.


Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Poet and author Margaret Howe Freydburg died last week at 107; she wrote and published well past her 100th birthday. Her friend Nancy Slonim Aronie has an appreciation of a remarkable woman.

Margaret Hamburg Ends Six-Year Run As FDA Commissioner

Margaret Hamburg ended her run this week as one of the longest serving Food and Drug Administration commissioners in recent decades.

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Sen. Menendez of New Jersey has been indicted on corruption charges. These are the first criminal charges brought against a sitting U.S. Senator in seven years.

Still Need A Lawn Yeti? Good News — SkyMall May Be Cleared For Relaunch

The in-flight catalog went bankrupt earlier this year. But its new owners say SkyMall catalogs might make their way back to airplane seatbacks soon.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.