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Smyrna resident recalls attack on Pearl Harbor

Library of Congress

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In an oral history recorded for the Albert Gore Center at Middle Tennessee State, attack survivor James Walls Jr. of Smyrna recalls waking up in his Hickam Field barracks to the sound of bombs.

And about that time a Japanese Zeke came by and had a machine gunner standing up in the back shooting right at me. And I had a big orange dot on there, side of the airplane said you know, said that it was Japanese. Of course I ducked down behind a concrete wall. It was a concrete barrack, six-inch walls. Outside of that wall was just pock marks with bullet holes. And they are still there.

It was announced this week that Japanese Prime Minister Abe will visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial later this month, the first time Japan’s highest political office holder has ever visited the site.

The Albert Gore Research Center at MTSU.

Listen to the complete oral history with James Walls Jr.