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Honoring Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

The USS California on fire in Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.
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The USS California on fire in Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

Flags are flying at half-staff today in honor of this year’s Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Eighty-one years after the Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base, there are few living survivors. In Pensacola, retired Navy musician Frank Emond is still going strong at 104.

But, in March of this year, retired Marine Corps Sgt. Major William Braddock, one of the last of the local survivors, died at the age of 99. Today, we’re revisiting Sandra Averhart’s interview with Mr. Braddock in 2011, in the run up to the 70th anniversary observance in Hawaii.

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Braddock was a native of Louisiana, who had served in the Marine Corps for a little more than a year, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. He talked about his path to joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1940, when he was 17-years-old.

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WUWF Public Media
Sandra Averhart with Marine Corps Sgt. Major William Braddock and Navy musician Frank Emond in 2011.

Mr. Braddock says at age 17, he still had to get approval from his parents and pass the physical, which he did, despite having a case of poison oak.

Braddock went on to serve 28 years in the Marine Corps. He says the historic morning of Dec. 7, 1941, started out like any other.

Read the original story here.

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.