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Wheeler Army Air Field at Pearl Harbor during attack. <i>National Archives</i>
Wheeler Army Air Field at Pearl Harbor during attack. National Archives

Remembering Pearl Harbor

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Sixty-five years ago today, Japan executed a brilliant surprise attack on military bases across the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Pacific Fleet was left crippled in Pearl Harbor--and an unprepared nation was thrust headlong into World War Two. 16-year-old Charles St. John was hiking in the mountains near Pearl Harbor when things started exploding that morning. Ottawa correspondent Lucy Martin spoke with her uncle from his home in New Jersey.

Note: Young Charles St. John joined the army out of high school. He saw action in Pacific campaigns in the 27th Division of the New York State National Guard. He was sent to join Company G, after it suffered casualties of 90% during the Battle of Okinawa. St. John ended up on General MacArthur's Honor Guard during the occupation of Japan. Like thousands of other returning servicemen, he continued his education on the GI Bill. Married for 56 years, the retired mechanical engineer is a proud father and grandfather. His old uniform still fits.

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Reported by

Lucy Martin
Ottawa Correspondent

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