Navy veteran recalls attack on Pearl Harbor - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Navy veteran recalls attack on Pearl Harbor

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PHOENIX -

The Japanese attack on the U.S. naval installation at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, started World War II in the Pacific.

This weekend marked the 72nd anniversary of the attack.

FOX 10's Steve Krafft spoke to a valley man who was there when it happened.

You would never guess Archie Kelley is 95-years-old.

He's in great shape.

His mind is razor-sharp.

There are about a dozen WWII vets who live in a north Phoenix retirement community, but Kelley is the only one who was at pearl harbor.

He was a recent graduate of the naval academy onboard the U.S. S. West Virginia, a battleship.

"The West Virginia was directly ahead of the Arizona, about 200 feet our stern was from the Arizona," said Kelley. "I had the duty on the West Virginia as an officer on the deck. I was a raw ensign."

About a quarter to eight that fateful morning he heard an alarm.

"Ran to my battle station, the lowest deck on the ship, it was below deck number three, and while I ran down there, the first torpedo hit us and after I arrived, the second torpedo hit us and I was the first in central station," said Kelley.

What was it like to have a torpedo hit the ship?

"It shook the ship as if it were a small toy boat, this enormous 40,000 ton battleship, and we could hardly stand on our feet when each torpedo hit the ship," said Kelley.

Archie Kelley believes he survived because he was lucky.  

He says he will never forget his comrades who didn't make it.

After the war, Kelley became a helicopter test pilot for many years in the valley.

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