Pearl Harbor survivors honored at ceremony

December 14th, 2008    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

Sixty-seven years to the day, five men that survived the 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific fleet docked in Pearl Harbor were celebrated and honored as heroes at a remembrance ceremony in New Richmond.

For the last 22 years, the Clermont County American Legion has held the annual event as a way to remember and honor the survivors of that December morning that embroiled the U.S. in WWII.

The emotional ceremony, held in the Market Street School building, drew a crowd of more than 150 people.

Five survivors of Pearl Harbor were honored in New Richmond Dec. 7. From left are Anderson #519 Boy Scouts William and Richard Wuederman, and attack survivors, Joe Whitt, Floyd Nelson, Jack Hobgay, George Morton, and Frank Ruby.
Representing the five survivors of that infamous morning in Hawaii at the ceremony were Joe Whitt of Clermont County, George Morton, from Cincinnati, and Frank Ruby, Jack Hobday, and Floyd Nelson, from Dayton.

Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Whitt, who was on the USS San Francisco docked in the bay Dec. 7, 1941, said that it was very humbling standing there being honored when so many of his comrades did not survive the attack.

"We here were the lucky ones," Whitt reflected. "The heroes are the ones who never left and are still there."

American Legion representative Ralph Shepherd, who is one of five members of the Ohio Veteran's Hall of Fame, said that of the 50,000 men stationed at Pearl Harbor, 2,400 were killed, and more than 1,100 were wounded.

Now, there are fewer than 5,000 still alive and fewer than 100 in the state of Ohio, Shepherd said during the ceremony.

"Five of those brave soldiers we honor here today," he said.

Danny Bare, the executive director of the Clermont County Veteran's Service Commission, said that the remembrance ceremony is a great opportunity to thank the survivors in person, and to also give the younger generation in our community a chance to meet some live heroes.

"So they, and what they did for us, is never forgotten," Bare said.

During the ceremony, which included many speakers, songs, and prayers, Clermont commissioner Bob Proud declared the week of Dec. 7 as Pearl Harbor remembrance week.
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One Response to “Pearl Harbor survivors honored at ceremony”

  1. Larry Osterman says:

    Thanks for the info. Mr. Whitt seems to still be in good shape at age 94 and after reading of his ship’s (USS San Francisco) exploits on their website his survival continues to be almost providential. My relatively peaceful 3 years aboard USS Boston CA69/CAG-1 from ’58-’61 makes me appreciate Mr. Whitt’s horrendous experience. -Larry

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