City News ServiceA ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego on Thursday marked the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The 1941 attack led by 353 Japanese planes — fighters, bombers and torpedo planes — killed about 2,400 Americans and thrust the nation into World War II, which had been raging for several years in Europe and Asia.
“When I first heard the explosion of the (battleship USS) Arizona, I thought, “we’re in World War II,’ and we were,” Stuart Hedley, who was 20 at the time, told 10News. He served aboard the battleship USS West Virginia, which was heavily damaged by multiple torpedo hits.
Hedley, the president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, said the anniversary was a reminder to stay alert.
Among those honored were Arnold “Max” Bauer, who was found living in squalor east of El Cajon about a year ago, clutching a photograph of his vessel, the repair ship Vestal, which was adjacent the doomed Arizona.
Bauer, believed to have been 94, died last month at the veterans home in Chula Vista. His caretaker, Milagros Angeles, faces several felony charges.
The ceremony included tossing a wreath into San Diego Bay at 9:55 a.m., to coincide with the time the attack began.