When Sacramento veterans Sam Clower and Bob Castle mark the anniversary today of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it won't be just as Americans.
Both men remember the day because they were there.
"It was the fastest day of my life," Castle, 90, said Monday.
Castle was a Navy Seaman 1st Class operating a fire hose aboard the USS Tennessee in Battleship Row on Dec. 7, aiming the spray first at ammo on the nearby USS West Virginia to keep it from exploding and then, from the Tennessee fantail, spraying water on the fire raging aboard the nearby USS Arizona.
Clower, 91, was an Army 1st Sergeant, 19th Infantry, 24th Division, in charge of a detail guarding the local water supply from sabotage.
Clower witnessed Japanese planes attacking Wheeler Field, Pearl Harbor and Scho-field Barracks, which housed division headquarters.
Before the war ended, he was shot in an arm, took shrapnel in the right leg and was listed as missing in action while on one of the Solomon Islands.
During an extraordinary period of stalemate with the enemy that had his group surrounded on the island, Clower was transported to a Japanese dentist who replaced a missing front tooth with one fashioned out of gold.
In the years that followed the war, Castle and Clower became leaders and active members in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association founded in 1958.
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