COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – 71 years ago Friday (12/7) the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Elmer Marmon is a Navy veteran who remembers well, the day the U.S. was drawn into war with Japan.
Sifting through old military pictures, World War II veteran Marmon meditates on that cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor, an attack that prompted him to do something in defense of our country.
“And then a bunch of us silly kids quit high school and did our patriotic duty and joined the service,” said Marmon.
Not wanting to be drafted into the army, Marmon enlisted in the navy.
“I flew dive bombers off the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. The other Wasp was sunk. And we picked up the Wasp, in Boston, the new Wasp,” added Marmon.
When he got to Hawaii, our veteran saw first hand the devastation at the place where thousands died.
“Got to see the Arizona particularly because it was still there. And got to see some of the other ships that were sunk at the time,” said Marmon.
Realizing the Pearl Harbor attack was only the beginning of America’s involvement in a war fought on many fronts, Marmon and his comrades, like his friend Sam Elway, had a job to do.
“Well I think it only emphasized why we joined in the first place. We knew who the enemy was and we knew we had to, we had to defeat them,” said Marmon.
Eight battleships were destroyed the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor.