U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lowell Whitman.

Thirty-seven years old.

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National Archives photo

America held its breath on Dec. 8, 1941, as the voice of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boomed over radios across the nation, “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

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James Clark

It was around 8 a.m. in Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941, and Seaman 1st Class Stuart Hedley was below deck on the USS West Virginia when the alarm sounded. Over the loudspeaker came the words, “Away fire and rescue party.” Hedley raced topside, and as he emerged from below, he saw planes diving from every direction. Pearl Harbor was under attack.

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