Pearl Harbor survivor, longtime volunteer celebrates big birthday

Pearl Harbor survivor, longtime volunteer celebrates big birthday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Jolanie Martinez

Pearl Harbor survivor Herb Weatherwax celebrated his 99th birthday at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument on Friday.

Visitors and well-wishers sang "Happy Birthday" to Weatherwax, also known as "Uncle Herb."

Weatherwax is a familiar face at the park. He volunteers there four times a week, telling visitors about what it was like to live through the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"I enjoy coming out to the Arizona Memorial and meeting all the people coming out here," he said. "I've met thousands and thousands of them. And this is what I think helps to keep my life up."

The veteran was serving in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Schofield when the Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941, Weatherwax was on leave and was near Pearl Harbor.

He remembers seeing the U.S.S Arizona on fire, and the U.S.S. Oklahoma keeled over. By Wheeler Army Airfield, he saw the planes that lined the runway demolished.

"I was called back to my station immediately. As I drove by Wheeler Army Airfield all our airplanes had been destroyed, hangars destroyed," he said. "And I got to see another military base in Kaneohe, a naval air station and that was all wiped out. Terrible."

Weatherwax isn't letting his age slow him down. He says he'll continue to volunteer at the memorial for as long as he can.

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