USS Virginia Veteran Hero - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

USS Virginia Veteran Hero

(HawaiiNewsNow) - HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pearl Harbor Survivor, 96-year-old Sylvester Puccio is returning to Oahu to provide an oral history of the U.S.S. West Virginia and December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor. The event will take place at the Bowfin Submarine Museum on Thursday, June 28, 2012, from 6 to 7 p.m. World renowned historian, Ranger Daniel Martinez, will facilitate the discussion. The public is invited to join and admission is free to attend.

Mr. Puccio will provide an oral history of his experience on that fateful day of December 7th, 1941. Although the battleship suffered multiple torpedo hits in the first few minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was listing at 28 degrees, the 19-year-old Puccio, a shipfitter below decks, took the initiative to smash the hinges of the locker holding the handles needed to counterflood the ship so it would settle straight down. Hundreds of lives were saved as a result.

Puccio's story of heroism was long lost in the chaos on that unforgettable day. He was recently awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, which may be upgraded to a Navy Cross. The humble Puccio will finally be acknowledged for the first time at Pearl Harbor, 70 years after his brave acts.

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