Pearl Harbor Survivor Returns to Duty Station

Honolulu, HI – A Coast Guard Pearl Harbor survivor Wednesday morning is returning to where he was serving the Coast Guard on Dec. 7, 1941.

Petty Officer George C. Larsen was a radio watch stander at Diamond Head Lighthouse in 1941. He was awakened by what he believed to be at first an earthquake, then an Army air drill, but turned out to be three Japanese aircraft coming from Kaneohe.

“I dashed back in the house to tell everyone that they had to be disguised Army planes, since I was thinking WAR GAMES only! Boy, was I embarrassed when we realized they were Japanese torpedo planes,” Larsen said in his oral history. “As we could see the entrance to Pearl Harbor out of one window and the Pacific Ocean westward out of another window from my operating position, I had a fairly good picture of what those Japanese planes were doing.”

Larsen’s oral history is available at the Coast Guard’s Historian’s website.

Mr. Larsen served in the Coast Guard from 1939 to 1945 and is currently the President of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Bay Area Chapter 2, of San Francisco. He has also written an auto-biographical book “On the Edge of War” about his service during World War II and beyond.

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