CHARLESTOWN (CBS) — Donald Tabbut is 90 years old, but he still remembers being right in the middle of the 1941 surprise attack by the Japanese on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.
“I could hear the bombs, I could hear the planes. And I jumped out of the bed and I looked up and there was a plane coming over the barracks very low and suddenly dropped a bomb and I knew it was Japanese because of the big red rising sun under the wing,” the retired radioman 1st class said.
On Saturday, Boston National Historical Park hosted a memorial service on the WW II Destroyer USS Cassin Young at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The destroyer was named after Navy Capt. Cassin Young, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the attack on Pearl Harbor and died in action at Guadalcanal in November 1942.
Although his health is fading, Tabbut remembers the deadly attack like yesterday and says he lost many friends that day.
“I watched from across the field from where I was the Oklahoma, and she tipped right over and (there were) a lot of guys on that that never made it,” Tabbut said.
Tabbut says he is thankful he is still well enough to tell his story, and he says it’s important that all people never forget what happened on that day.
“Everybody must know what happened that day to us and how this country has lived and survived. Don’t ever forget it,” he said.
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