BELOIT (WKOW) - A World War II sailor from Beloit on board the U.S.S. Maryland remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor.
As President Roosevelt succinctly said, December 7, 1941 is "A day that will live in infamy."
U.S. Navy Veteran Stan Van Hoose says, "It was a day of hell."
The attack on Peal Harbor is seared into his mind. He had just turned 21 and was proud to be serving as Quarter Master, 3rd Class, on the U.S.S. Maryland. He was peacefully sleeping in his bunk when the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service attacked the U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii.
It was a devastating scene. "The water was so full of oil...and it was burning. Talk about hell," he remembers.
Sailors, soldiers and civilians scrambled to protect themselves from the unrelenting bombs falling from the sky. In the chaos, military men grabbed whatever they could to fire back. "We had big 16 inch guns," says Van Hoose.
Fueled by anger, Van Hoose and the men of the Maryland fought back. "We got credit, I think, for taking down 8 or 10 planes that we shot down," Van Hoose proudly declares. "This country of man is not to be abused."