SA Pearl Harbor survivors remember fateful day

5 local survivors gather for ceremony


SAN ANTONIO – It was Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

Many servicemen and women stationed at the Army and Navy bases on Hawaii were sleeping when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked, including 92-year-old Gene Camp.

"They came over our barracks. The first thing I knew was the machine gun fire. I got up and looked out and saw these big red circles and thought, that's not ours, that's the Japanese," Camp said.

William St. John, 91, was coming off of a midnight shift in the radio transmitter tower the morning of the attack.

"We were eyeball-to-eyeball with them. They were sitting their grinning and firing away," St. John said.

Five San Antonio-area Pearl Harbor survivors gathered Friday to remember those lost that day.

After a short prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, the group stopped for a moment of silence at exactly 11:55 a.m., coinciding with 7:55 a.m. Hawaii-time, the time the attack occurred.

This small group was once made up of nearly a hundred -- now only 14 local Pearl Harbor survivors remain.

And 71 years later, St. John and the other veterans who watched a massacre on American soil said it's upsetting to still see so much conflict.

"I think each of us would like to see peace and harmony throughout the world. There's not such thing. We can think about it, and dream about it, but that's about the extent of it," St. John said.