On Wednesday, December 7, the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, four local WWII veterans will share their remarkable stories at 7 p.m. at Boone County Public Library, 1786 Burlington Pike, in Burlington.
Bill Hargis will tell you about the night the destroyer he was stationed on sunk, “I didn’t mind the treading so much, it was the oil burning my eyes that was the worst part about that night. I had no one from my ship around me. You’d be surprised how quickly people disappear in the ocean because of the strong currents that come about in rough seas.”
Clarence Arand will share what it was like to fly a plane during the war, “I saw one of the B-17s in our bomb group take a direct hit in the wing… the wing was just completely blown off and the plane went down. You know you didn’t realize that those guys in that plane were probably killed. You didn’t think about that. You knew it happened, but you just blocked it out of your mind.”
Robert Doolen remembers trying to hide and blend in after his plane was shot down, “If I ever got captured, I knew I couldn’t have English printing on me,” Doolan explains. “I had gotten some native clothes, and I was wearing a tone-on-tone pink shirt, Dutch pants, shoes and a beret, trying to fit in with the locals.” Doolan was captured and spent two years as a prisoner of war.
Noah Switzer will talk about the 36 days he spent at the Battle of Iwo Jima as a hospital corpsman. He says he often found himself “up to my elbows in blood.”
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945 and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Between the mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, the strategic bombing of industrial and population centers, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the lives lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history.
On Pearl Harbor Day, remember those who gave their lives in service to our country and hear first-hand stories from veterans who fought for freedom.
All ages are welcome to attend this free program. No registration.
Voices of World War II
Boone County Public Library
1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington
Wednesday, December 7 at 7 p.m.