Pearl Harbor survivor Leland Lester recalls the tragedy
Lester was 19 when he witnessed attack on Pearl Harbor
Imagine being a teenage farm boy from Colfax and witnessing one of the most significant events in American History. Leland Lester was 19 years old and had just joined the Navy when, while aboard the USS Pennsylvania, he saw the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I was going back to my compartment to finish up my work, when the bomb hit two compartments over from where I was walking,” said Lester. “It just about blew me off my feet. I went ‘What in the heck was that?’ I whirled around and ran onto the starboard bow and just as I stepped out of that hatch, a Japanese fighter went over the top of my head. I could of threw a hand grenade up he was that low.”
Lester immediately realized that they were under a heavy attack.
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