Hattiesburg Pearl Harbor survivor has vivid memories of Japanese attack

Hattiesburg Pearl Harbor survivor has vivid memories of Japanese attack

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - One Hattiesburg man holds vivid memories of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.

Harold "Smokey" Stover was an 18-year-old sailor from Illinois when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.

He witnessed both waves of the attack from Ford Island.

He wasn't hurt, but he spent that day rescuing fellow sailors from the water.

He said he was shocked by what he saw.

"We hadn't went ahead and just really got it through our heads what all was going on and what all was happening, until later on," said Stover.

"I just hope we never have another one, nothing, no Pearl Harbor, nothing slipping up on us to where we wipe out so many men that didn't have a chance."

His ship, the cruiser Salt Lake City, wasn't hit, and it left the Pearl Harbor area the next day.

Stover, now 93, went on to serve in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters in World War Two and retired to Hattiesburg after 20 years in the Navy.

He is still an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and occasionally serves in the organization's honor guard.