Central Ohio Pearl Harbor Survivor Recounts 'The Day That Will Live In Infamy'


Pearl Harbor Day conjures up memories and images for one Central Ohio veteran that doesn’t come from old footage or reenactments.

Navy veteran Milton Mapou was just sitting down to breakfast that morning.

“We heard this explosion we couldn't figure out what the heck was that,” Mapou said.  “I saw this plane coming in and it had this great big red meatball on it on the side of the plane.”

That red circle of course was the symbol of the Japanese.

“You could see the pilot's face, that's how low it is,” Mapou said.

A plane whizzed right by Mapou as he stood on a battleship in Pearl Harbor.

“He dropped the torpedo and it went right in front of our bough,” Mapou said.

In the distance, he saw the USS Arizona take the fatal blow.

“Oh, it was awful, everything just went up in the air,” Mapou said.

Wayne Lingafelter's late father relayed nearly the same story.

“It seemed like at times it was hard to talk about,” Lingafelter said.

But Lingafelter's dad was active in the survivor network and he is now also. 

He thinks Pearl Harbor is a moment in our country's history that should never be forgotten but keeping the memory alive is getting difficult.

“There were 14,000 survivors there in 1991,” Lingafelter said. “They actually disbanded the Pearl Harbor survivors in 2011.”

Mapou says he's one of just a few survivors left in the state and the group was a bond like no other.