HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 94-year-old Army veteran who was stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield during the attack that launched America into World War II has died in Colorado, according to local media reports.
Tom Petso, who was just 19 years old on December 7, 1941, died over the weekend of what was described as a 'short illness.'
Petso, who frequently returned to Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to fallen servicemembers at the Arizona Memorial, traveled to Hawaii last December to participate in memorial services commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack.
Before departing on what would be his final trip to Hawaii, Petso told Denver reporters that he and some friends were just beginning a football game when the attack on Pearl Harbor began.
"We knew they weren't our planes. They were coming right down, and they blew up those planes in no time," Petso said.
More than 2,300 servicemembers were killed during the attack. Another 1,100 were wounded.