“Remember Pearl Harbour”
“Arizona, I remember you”
Donald Stratton could never shake the memory of it all – the deafening explosions, searing heat, machine gun blasts and heart-wrenching screams of his friends – from his head.
“Never a day goes by for all these many years when I haven’t thought about it,” Stratton said. “I don’t talk about it too much, but when December rolls around I do. It’s important the American people don’t forget.”
Donald Stratton, 93, served four years in the United States Navy and was on board the USS Arizona December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. The adventure of being at sea had been a lifelong dream for Stratton, so when he turned 18, he enlisted in the Navy. One year later he was assigned for duty on the USS Arizona. The hulk of the ship still rests in Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the nearly 2,500 Americans killed that day.
That any sailors survived the attack on the Arizona is a miracle, Stratton says.
“A million pounds of ammunition exploded,” he said. “The fireball went 600 or 800 feet in the air and just engulfed us.”