Hattiesburg veteran looks back on witnessing history - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg veteran looks back on witnessing history

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Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM
Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM

At 90 years old, Art Albert has seen a lot, done a lot and been a lot of places. 

"When I was in, we had them," said Albert as he pointed to a sailor's uniform hanging on his wall.

A New York native, Albert now lives in Hattiesburg. As a World War II veteran, he can even remember the time he became a part of the U.S. Navy, following his older brother.

"He wasn't in the Navy two years, before I did and my other three brothers come in after they turned 17," said Albert.

That military service led him to the USS Missouri, a battleship he would spend a lot of time on out in the Pacific Ocean. 

"That's my home. I went on there when I was 17, come off when I was 21. That's my home," said Albert.

That home at sea, now serves as a symbol of peace thanks to its role during World War II  It was on that battleship, back in 1945 in the Tokyo Bay, where Albert witnessed history as Japan surrendered, ending the war.

"And I tell you, we were a happy bunch," said Albert.

Seventy two years later, Albert is one of the last remaining crew members still alive today. 

"That's MacArthur signing the peace treaty," said Albert as he points to a picture in his home.

For his service, he was recently recognized in Hawaii during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. 

"Everybody stood up and cheered," said Albert. 

That ceremony was to honor the sacrifices and dedication of the men and women who are part of what's known as the greatest generation. From 17 to 38, Albert says he couldn't imagine himself being anywhere else. 

"I got out in between and I don't know, I just had to go back," said Albert.

Albert also goes back to Hawaii every year to mark the anniversary of the war's end.  Looking back on his service, Albert says it's one of the memories that keeps him going.   

"My daddy was in World War I, so it's just automatic, our family, to help protect our land and everything," said Albert. 

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