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Pearl Harbor: 70 years on

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 01:59

Dec. 7 - A survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into the Second World War recalls the event 70 years on. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Don Stratton was a 19-year-old sailor aboard the USS Arizona when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Now he's one of a dwindling band of survivors who commemorated the 70th anniversary of the attack that pushed the U.S. into World War II. He was on his way to visit a friend in the sick bay of the giant battleship. SOUNDBITE: Don Stratton, Seaman 1st Class, Pearl Harbor survivor, saying (English): "I picked up some oranges, flipped my white hat open, was going to take them down to my buddy in the sick bay. He was working with me on the incinerator. He just went down the day before and when the bomb hit, it went right through the deck on the port side right after number 2 turret, close to the sick bay, and he didn't make it." Stratton was one of the lucky ones. Nearly 2, 400 Americans died. More than 1, 170 more were wounded. A dozen U.S. warships were sunk or badly damaged. More than 300 aircraft were destroyed. The following day U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress, formalising a state of war between the U.S and Japan. But Don Stratton fears future generations know little of the fateful events of that time. SOUNDBITE: Don Stratton, Seaman 1st Class, Pearl Harbor survivor, saying (English): "They teach the children in school about the war of 1812 but you don't hear much about the teaching anything about Pearl Harbor. I think that should be right and up in front of the public so that it doesn't happen again." This year is the last major anniversary that will feature a significant number of Pearl Harbor survivors. There are only about 2, 700 left of the 60, 000 military personnel serving in the Pacific that day in 1941. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Pearl Harbor: 70 years on

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 01:59