WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Oahu, Hawaii, which sent the United States into WWII, was held at 1:25 p.m., in Battleship Park Friday.
World War II B-17 Flying Fortress bomber pilot Robert C. Newman, Jr., was the keynote speaker at the commemoration event.
Wilmington resident Newman, a retired Air Force colonel, flew 25 WWII combat missions, 100 combat missions in the Korean War, and support missions in the Vietnam War. His 22 awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters. He serves on the Coalition board of directors.
Pearl Harbor Survivor Leslie "Bud" Hollenbeck , a Wilmington resident and coordinator of area Survivor activities, reminisced about his naval service on the battleship USS Pennsylvania that was damaged in dry dock that day.
Four other Survivors, all in their 90s or late 80s, were expected to attend. They include Gordon Idom, Navy, who served on the battleship USS West Virginia; Harold Garrish, Navy, on the cruiser USS St. Louis; Al Hawes, Marine Corps, with the 4th Defense Battalion; and Ronald Skinner, Navy, on the cruiser USS Helena.