Veteran’s Voices: Pearl Harbor Survivor, Everett Hyland
77-years ago, in November 1941, a war alert was lifted.
The following month, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in two waves on a Sunday morning leading to more than 35-hundred killed or wounded, 21 ships sunk or damaged.
NewsChannel 34’s Kathy Muneno spoke with one of Hawai’i’s four remaining Pearl Harbor survivors.
Everett Hyland, Pearl Harbor Survivor: “Good morning sir” visitor “Very nice to meet you” Everett “thank you.”
Visitor: give fist bumps, “There you go, thank you sir.”
Everett: “Every day above ground is a good one.”
Visitor: “Can we take your picture?” Everett: “Certainly.”
Visitor: ” Take a picture with you?” Everett: “Yes.” Visitor: “Thank you.”
At Pearl Harbor’s Arizona Memorial Visitors Center, Volunteering his time, for 23 years now, now 95 years old…
Everett Hyland says, “It gets me out of the house (laugh).”
And close to his memories as an 18-year old sailor on the Pennsy, the battleship USS Pennsylvania…
Hyland: “I was a smart teenager I figured if we ever go to war, the last place I’d want to be stuck is in the radio quarters down in the middle of the ship.”
And that’s where he was, when peace shattered.
Announcement: “this is not a drill this is not a drill general quarters general quarters all hands, man your battle stations.”
The Pennsy was in drydock across battleship row, Hyland ran up to the battle station on the aft deck, he says five high altitude bombers flew overhead.
Everett Hyland: “They all released their bombs at the same time and we took one hit.”
The ships Downes and Cassin in front of the Pennsy were destroyed, smoke was billowing from the Arizona.
Everett: and the other fellows with me, Harold Comstock, Clarence Hoss, Joe Mahofski, Jim Owens and Joe Pace were killed.
Hyland was wounded beyond recognition.
Everett Hyland: “…and he came over and he bent over and he looked at me and he said who are you? I said it’s Hyland and all he did was back away and go “ah, ah” very good for the morale, evidently I was quite a mess.”
Nine months of recovery and he was back on the ship, only left the Navy after the war ended.
Everett Hyland: “Thank you very much” Visitor: “Thank you for your service” Everett: “You’re welcome.”
Hyland’s a retired elementary school science teacher. He moved to Hawai’i in the year of the 50th anniversary of the bombing of pearl harbor, when he met his wife Miyoko, from Japan.
He used to volunteer here five days a week, now it’s down to one with no plans of going to none.
Everett: ” I’m as proud as these fellas are with their uniform on, they’re in a great organization, and I appreciate you.”
Sailor: ” thank you sir.”
At Pearl Harbor, I’m Kathy Muneno.
NewsChannel 34 will be airing a Veterans Voices half hour special with stories from across our country.
It will be broadcast on Saturday November 10th at 7:00 pm on WBGH NBC-5 and Sunday November 11th at 5:30 pm on WIVT NewsChannel 34.