Friday, March 1, 2013

Toledo's Pearl Harbor Survivors-- Part 2: Jim Gilbert

Jim Gilbert, 91, enjoyed the Toledo Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, but it disbanded in 2004 when it got down to six members.

He had enlisted in the US Navy in 1940, after not getting into the Naval Academy.  In April 1941, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the USS MacDonough, a destroyer.  During the attack "our ship was torn down for overhaul, so a lot of us were ashore.  I was at the executive officer's house."

He heard gunfire from a nearby anti-aircraft battery and ran back to the base and was strafed by a plane, but didn't get hit.  Once back at his ship, he put on his uniform and took his position at an anti-aircraft gun.  There was no power so he was forced to fire as accurately and safely as he could.

He especially had to be careful of firing at civilian areas or other ships.

His comment on the attack was that he "was too busy to be scared."

Two More to Come.  --GreGen

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