We met Pearl Harbor Survivors Association member Stan Reynolds at Duke’s Lagoon in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii. He returned to Hawaii with his daughter for the final Hawaii reunion of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (PHSA). I asked Stan about the plans to disband the PHSA group.
“We have to. We don’t want to but we have to. There are only 3,000 of us left and we are dropping dead. Two or three a day. It just can’t go on,” he said.
Pearl Harbor survivor Stan Reynolds first came to Hawaii in 1938. He worked in a mine forest, which he described as area infested with land mines. He spoke about his role in a calm manner, though this sounds to me like dangerous work.
For 10 years, Stan was a tug boat pilot for the Navy. He was in Pearl Harbor on that fateful morning of December 7, 1941 when bombs showered Pearl Harbor.
We met with Stan just after he returned from a preview visit to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, which officially opened December 7, 2010.
“One thing really bothered me though. I donated a small hand-made mini shell to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center but I could not find it on display. Several other guys said the same thing.” Stan continued, “Some guys donate their entire collection to the center when they die.”
Stan said additional museums are scheduled to open later in the week and the item he donated may be on display in one of these areas.
Stan retired after 41 years in the merchant service. He said it was a “good life.”
To Stan, our veterans and those currently serving our country, thank you for your service.
I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of four other Pearl Harbor survivors.
- Bill Temple http://www.aprilmwilliams.com/final-hawaii-reunion-for-pearl-harbor-survivor-william-temple/
- Dave Davenport http://www.aprilmwilliams.com/aloha-pearl-harbor-survivor-dave-davenport/
- Herbert Weatherwax http://www.aprilmwilliams.com/pearl-harbor-survivor-herbert-weatherwax/
- Robert Ruffato http://www.aprilmwilliams.com/pearl-harbor-survivor-robert-ruffato-returns-to-hawaii/
- Mal Middlesworth http://www.808talk.com/2009/12/11/mal-middlesworth-remembers-pearl-harbor/