Monday, November 6, 2017

Second-Oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor Visits the USS West Virginia Bell

 From the November 5, 2017, Metro News West Virginia  "Second-oldest Pearl Harbor survivor finally able to ring the bell" by Brittany Murray.

Jim Downing, 104, served on the USS West Virginia for ten years, including the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He visited his ship's mast at the West Virginia University Friday.  He was only 27, when he last saw the bell and mast and his ship was sinking.

He summarized his experience at Pearl Harbor in five words:  surprise, scared, anger, resolve and pride.  Most of the damage to his ship was done in the first eleven minutes of the attack.  The ship had a weekly newspaper named "The Mountaineer."

Later he met Commander Mitsuo Fuchida who led the Japanese attack on the harbor.  During the Korean War, he was commander of the USS Patapsco.


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