It was a "Day of Infamy" at Pearl Harbor when a fresh-faced, 17-year-old, Arles Cole miraculously escaped the USS West Virginia, rescued a shipmate, & hoisted Old Glory as the battle raged on... ..".The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost...Japan has undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area.... No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.... With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God." - From President Franklin D. Roosevelt's declaration of war, December 8, 1941. Arles Cole was born in 1923 in the hills of eastern Oklahoma and grew up on a small farm where he helped his family work the land. His father's service in the Army during World War I instilled a deep sense of patriotism in him. Cole enlisted in the Navy in December 1940 after having just turned the tender age of seventeen. As a young farm boy, he suddenly found himself thrust in the middle of the start of World War II. In "Showing Our Colors at Pearl Harbor," Cole relates his brush with death and the events that ensued amid all the smoke, fire and destruction on that fateful day at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Cole still relies on his faith to maintain his strength and to lead him daily in his purpose in life. Along with his wife of 63 years, Virginia, Cole lives in Tulsa where he is still active in veterans' programs and events.
Showing Our Colors at Pearl Harbor: A Firsthand Account Through the Eyes of a 17- Year- Old Survivor
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