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Vincent Gunderson, now 94, was in the Navy for a year and stationed on the U.S.S. Phoenix in Hawaii on the morning of December 7 1941. He remembers hearing an announcement that an attack was underway.
"I was up there sitting and it started and I had to get down into the main deck," Gunderson said.
His job was to make sure the ship's artillery was in working order.
"About 10 o'clock we thought it was over. And so we decided we would try and get out. We went out and there was a sub in the lagoon so we returned. Then the second half came in and that was the high bombers."
The attack continued. By one o'clock the ship left.
"We got out and we were heading out to take out the Japanese fleet and we saw one ship out there, so we decided to find out who it was. It took half an hour to recognize them and them recognize us. And it was one of our cruisers."
Three days later his ship returned.
His heart saddened seeing the soldiers who died on other ships.
"They were bringing all of the bodies off and on the bunks of the ships and putting them on the bunk. That was a mess."
Those painful images will always be with Gunderson - a reminder there are those who want to hurt the U-S.
"It can happen again."
Gunderson proudly served our country for six years in the Navy.
Scripps Only Content 2016