95-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor to go back 75 years later


It was December 7, 1941 when Milton Mapou was aboard the USS Detroit in Pearl Harbor.

“It was Sunday morning,” said Mapou. “We heard this explosion and my buddy was behind me and the two of us put our trays down and ran topside.”

Mapou says a plane was coming in right at them.

“At that time you could see the pilots face,” Mapou said. “That's how low he was when he came in at us.”

Moments later a massive explosion killed more than 2,300 Americans. Mapou escaped without injury.

“Did you ever think you'd survive?,” Mapou was asked. “That wasn't on my mind,” he answered. “I know I was shaken but that wasn't on my mind at all.”

Mapou went on to fight in World War II. The battle that left him in a body cast for more than a year.

“I'm just proud of my service to the United States. I served as well as I could,” he said.

Mapou earned two Purple Hearts and 10 battle stars.

Now, Mapou is preparing for his first trip back to the battlegrounds since he was injured in 1945.

“You think it will be emotional?” Mapou was asked. “I don't know,” he answered with curiosity.

Mapou will catch a flight to Hawaii with three other friends first thing Saturday morning.

“I'm all packed. Ready to go in the morning,” he said.


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