An honorary diploma has been awarded to a local Pearl Harbor survivor as he prepares for the 82nd commemoration of the attack.
Harry Chandler lives at Tequesta Terrace Senior Living and hes one of only a few remaining Pearl Harbor attack survivors left in America.
He was a Navy corpsman at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.
Chandler went to Holyoke High School in Massachusetts. During his senior year of high school, the United States was in the process of creating the Selective Training and Service Act.
Instead of possibly being selected to join another branch of service, Chandler decided to enlist in the Navy before he graduated high school.
This week, Holyoke High School sent an honorary diploma to Chandler. He was presented the honorary diploma Tuesday.
Jokingly, Chandler said, Now I can get a job!
Chandler will be a big part of the 82
commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack.
On Dec. 7, hell be front and center at the USS Arizona, returning the salute to current servicemen and women.
Chandler was a Navy Corpsman stationed at Pearl Harbor Navy base when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.
Recalling that morning, Chandler said, “Raised the flag and I looked up and saw a lot of planes and I said, oh, they’re coming in from the states. Then I saw the explosion and the next thing you know, they got us in trucks and their taking us down to the harbor.
The hours that followed were frantic for Chandler.
“It was hard. You know, youre pulling the guys out of the water, they were just floating. The Arizona, watching the Arizona blow up, that will never leave my mind. Never,” People ask me, were you scared? I said, really and truly not until it quieted down. Then I got scared. I said, my God, I could have been killed.
Chandler has recently traveled to Washington D.C. and seen the World War II monuments.
He was honored at a Florida Panthers playoff game last season.