Pearl Harbor Survivor Tells His Story - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Pearl Harbor Survivor Tells His Story

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By Alex Schuman


The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors honored their parents and those who can still remember dodging Japanese bullets back in 1941.

The ceremony was Friday morning on Pearl Harbor Day at Iowa's Pearl Harbor Memorial.

"We were eating breakfast and getting ready for quarters," explained Clarence Pfundheller, who served as a gun captain for the USS Maryland.

"The Oklahoma was tied to us and it tipped over in about 11 minutes," he said.  They had to cut any ropes connecting their ship to the Oklahoma so it did not take them down too.

One of Pfundheller's other vivid memories is the faces of the Japanese flying by. 

"I remember most...the pilots laying the torpedoes - pumping their fist at me while laughing," Pfundheller said.

The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors honored Pfundheller for sharing his experiences and teaching what lessons we should take from the stories of those who fought that day. 

"Freedom comes at a cost," said Dan Schenkleberg, who's father was at Pearl Harbor.  "There's a lot of individuals that put forth a tremendous cost in their life to make a life better for the rest of us."

Pfhundheller believes the best way to honor those at Pearl Harbor is to thank those who fought, and make sure nothing like this surprise attack ever happens again.

"Keep America alert," he said.

The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors estimates there are still five living survivors from that day living here Iowa.

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