HARLINGEN, Texas (NNS) -- Two senior enlisted leaders (SELs) assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Harlingen rendered honors to World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor retired Chief Radioman Daniel Pomeroy at the Valley View Senior Living retirement home in Harlingen, Texas, Feb. 19.
Chief Personnel Specialist Ismael Zendejas and Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jason Smith presented 100 year-old Pomeroy with a plaque and American flag in front of an audience of more than 40 people. The chiefs also read a summary highlighting Pomeroy’s 20-year naval career, during which he was stationed aboard the Mahan-class destroyer USS Cassin (DD-372) in Pearl Harbor at the time of the surprise Japanese attack.
“World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor are such significant events in American history,” said Smith. “Having the opportunity to hear stories about what happened from Chief Pomeroy’s first-hand account is really enlightening, and very inspirational.”
Born Aug. 23, 1919 in New York City, Pomeroy enlisted in the United States Navy in 1939 at the age of 20. On Dec. 7, 1941 the ship he was assigned to, USS Cassin was one of several U.S. ships destroyed during the attack. At the time, USS Cassin was dry-docked at Pearl Harbor alongside Mahan-class destroyer USS Downes (DD-375) and Pennsylvania-class battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). It wasn’t until weeks after the attack that news reports revealed family members of Pomeroy had received a telegram informing them of his survival.
On the day of their presentation, both chiefs spent time with Pomeroy and showed their appreciation for his service.
“What stood out to me most was his humility and kindness,” said Zendejas.
Smith recalled Pomeroy’s reaction to first seeing them in attendance at the event.
“When he saw us in uniform it immediately brought a huge smile to his face,” said Smith.
Both chiefs commented on Pomeroy’s commitment to service, as well as the selfless sacrifices of all of the Sailors involved in the attacks.
“His patriotism is something to emulate,” said Smith.
“It reminds us that when unfortunate events take place we as Sailors must find the courage to act in the time of need,” said Zendejas.
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