Rain Provides Reflection during Pearl Harbor Survivor Memorial Service


Story Number: NNS161201-16Release Date: 12/1/2016 10:00:00 PM
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By Petty Officer 2nd Class Tracey S Bannister, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Rain began to fall as the service honoring Pearl Harbor survivor Jack A. Stoeber commenced.

Sailors and friends gathered at the USS Utah Memorial for an ash scattering ceremony honoring Stoeber at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Dec. 1. The memorial service was a time of reflection as Stoeber's ashes were scattered in the waters surrounding the USS Utah Memorial.

Bob Bracci, an honorary member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Vietnam War veteran, and friend to Stoeber, spoke about the history of Stoeber's actions on that fateful day, December 7, 1941.

Stoeber served as a carpenter's mate and was stationed aboard the Dobbin-class destroyer tender USS Whitney (AD 4) during the attacks. He was supposed to be on leave to visit his uncle that day, but his plans changed and he stayed on the ship.

USS Whitney was in the harbor receiving routine maintenance and repairs. Once finished, Whitney would return to the fleet to provide supplies to destroyers at sea.

According to Bracci, as the bullets began to reign down on Pearl Harbor, Stoeber ran to retrieve his ammunition box.

"The weight of the box was almost as much as Stoeber himself," said Bracci. "When he returned to his station, he manned the .50-caliber machine gun, shooting at incoming aircraft. "

Bracci spoke fondly of Stoeber, his brother-in-arms, his long-time friend.

"Jack was like a father to me. He couldn't have been any closer, even if he had been a blood relative," said Bracci. "They didn't make them finer than Jack."

Representing the family members who could not make it to the service, Bracci spoke on behalf of Stoeber's widow, Florence, who said she was proud that the Navy could perform the service for Jack.

"He was honored to serve in the U.S. Navy during the war," said Bracci. "He requested to have his ashes scattered in the waters he served in. This is the final tribute to a great man."

Stoeber received a rifle salute before taps played in honor of his service contribution to his country.

As the service came to an end, so did the rain, marking a final farewell to a loved one, a friend a shipmate.

 
RELATED PHOTOS
An ensign is presented to Bob Bracci, honorary member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, during an ash-scattering ceremony at the USS Utah Memorial for Pearl Harbor survivor Jack A. Stoeber.
161201-N-WC566-048 PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 1, 2016) A member of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Honors and Ceremonial Guard presents Bob Bracci, honorary member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, with an ensign during an ash-scattering ceremony at the USS Utah Memorial for Pearl Harbor survivor Jack A. Stoeber, serving aboard USS Whitney during the attacks as a carpenter's mate. USS Whitney was one of more than 100 ships present at Pearl Harbor during the attacks. The U.S. military and the State of Hawaii are hosting a series of remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served during Dec. 7, 1941 and throughout the Pacific Theater. As a Pacific nation, the U.S. is committed to continue its responsibility of protecting the Pacific sea-lanes, advancing international ideals and relationships, well as delivering security, influence, and responsiveness in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/Released)
December 1, 2016
RELATED VIDEO
161201-N-KN989-001 PEARL HARBOR (Dec. 1, 2016) An ash-scattering ceremony takes place at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Pearl Harbor survivor Chief Petty Officer Jack A. Stoeber, a carpenter’s mate aboard USS Whitney (AD 4). Dec. 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Oahu. The U.S. military and the State of Hawaii are hosting a series of remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served during Dec. 7, 1941, and throughout the Pacific Theater. As a Pacific nation, the U.S. is committed to continue its responsibility of protecting the Pacific sea-lanes, advancing international ideals and relationships, well as delivering security, influence and responsiveness in the region. (U.S. Navy pideo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melvin Gonzalvo/Relased)
December 2, 2016
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