Monday, December 03, 2001

Memory of Pearl Harbor lives on

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OXFORD — With the ranks of World War II veterans fading with time, the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — the Day of Infamy, Dec. 7, 1941 — will be a milestone.

        To commemorate the anniversary, area veterans will gather at several places in the Tristate to discuss that December morning.

On Wednesday, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will have a panel discussion featuring Navy veterans Joe Whitt and Joe Sumner and former Air Corps member Vincent Salotto. On Friday, the Oxford Lane Public Library and Oxford Veterans of Foreign Wars will present a Pearl Harbor program.

        “At Hickam Field (near Pearl Harbor), we had our attack bombers all lined up, row after row of them,” Mr. Salotto said. “When the attack began ... You couldn't run. You just prayed that none of the bullets would hit you.”

        In Oxford on Friday, fellow Navy veteran Wayne Martin will join Mr. Whitt and Mr. Sumner, who will share their experiences in a program called “Eyewitness Accounts of the Day of Infamy.”

        The three are members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association of Cincinnati. The group started on Dec. 7, 1958, in Gardena, Ca., and went national years later. The Cincinnati chapter was established in the 1980s.

        Its purpose is to encourage and preserve the study of historical episodes, mementos and events pertaining to Dec. 7, 1941. Also the group seeks to preserve the graves of those who served at Pearl Harbor and and keep the country alert and aware of national security.

        In Oxford, part two of the program will be held from 2-4 p.m. and feature “The War in the Pacific: From Yalta to V-J Day,” by Phillip Shriver, an ensign assigned to the USS Murray, a Pacific Fleet destroyer.

        He served at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The former Miami University president is an author and historian.

        The program will end with “Recollections of an Interrogator' by John E. Dolibois, a captain in military intelligence during the war. Mr. Dolibois served at the International War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, Germany. He interrogated the main Nazi war criminals.

        “This is special, getting all these survivors together to tell their stories,” Mr. Whitt said.


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