Remembering Pearl Harbor

Photos by Mike Rosati   Master of Ceremonies Stan Bunger of KCBS tosses a wreath from the USS Hornet’s fantail, continuing a longtime Pearl Harbor Day tradition.

Remembering Pearl Harbor


Veterans and local residents gathered to remember this country’s entrance into World War II, Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. Ceremonies were held aboard the USS Hornet and on Coast Guard Island last Wednesday. 

Lawson Sakai, a World War II veteran of E Company, 442nd RCT, spoke to a packed audience about the origins of his regiment and its role in rescuing the Lost Battalion. Sakai joined a panel of experts on the the Lost Battalion, which refers to the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry (originally Texas National Guard), which was surrounded by German forces in the Vosges Mountains on Oct. 24, 1944.

Below: Retired Chief Petty Officer George Larsen bows his head during the Pearl Harbor Survivors ceremony held at Coast Guard Island.

Larsen was serving in the Coast Guard as a radioman in the Diamond Head Lighthouse just east of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. 

Larsen awoke just before 8 a.m. that Sunday morning to the rattling and shaking of his building. He later related in a “Memoir of Service” that he mistakenly thought it was an earthquake. It wasn’t until he saw planes flying overhead that he knew something wasn’t right.

He later remembered those planes “flying below the rim of Diamond Head, about 500 feet above me in ‘V’ formation, low-wing type with big red dots on the underside. They flew right over me, as they disappeared toward Pearl Harbor.”



Photos by Mike Rosati World War II veteran Lawson Sakai greets an avid crowd of young admirers at the USS Hornet Museum’s event.
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart