Pearl Harbor survivors dwindle, memories don't

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It’s been 68 years since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, but Howard J. Spreeman of Carson City says he remembers nearly every detail of the attack that drew America into World War II.

“I was just ordering breakfast,” said Spreeman, who was an aviation radioman stationed at Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay, across from Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. “I ordered bacon and eggs. It’s one of those things I’ll never forget.

“And a plane came over and almost took the roof of the place off.”

After a few moments of confusion, Spreeman and others eating at the base exchange realized they were under attack by Japanese aircraft.

“We all emptied out,” he said. “That’s about a block and a half from where the hangars were, and I could see the smoke coming from there by the time we got out of the building.”

Because they had been trained to salvage aircraft during an attack, Spreeman said he and other Navy personnel ran toward the airfield, hiding behind buildings to avoid enemy gunfire...

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