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History and Heritage

A Day That You Never Forget

Stories from Pearl Harbor

Adam Romero, a young Sailor stationed in Pearl Harbor the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, joined the Navy during peacetime. Following initial training, he reported to destroyer tender USS Dobbin (AD 3) in search of opportunity and adventure.

Little did he and countless others know, their lives would be forever changed one fateful morning - a morning which began relatively uneventfully.

The Dobbin Sailors were exercising when it began. Once the general quarters alarm sounded, Romero did not know exactly what was happening until a petty officer ran up to him and informed him of the attack. As part of his duties, he began hauling 5-inch shells to return fire on an attack which took everyone by complete surprise. When the fighting stopped, his ship was disabled with no means of getting underway, countless ships and aircraft were damaged or destroyed, and the number of lives lost totaled 2,403.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, that morning would set that stage for the United States' entry and eventual victory in World War II, and would leave a memory he still recalls 75 years later.

"It was a day that you never forget."

For more on U.S. Navy history, visit the Naval History and Heritage website.

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary graphic.