Pearl Harbor Survivor tells his full story during the attack 78 years ago

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PEARCY, AR. — Saturday marks the 78th anniversary for the Pearl Harbor attack that put the United States into World War II.  

More than 23,000 people were killed. Saturday, one local veteran recalls the moments it all went down. Meet 95-year-old William M. Chase.  

Chase was a first-class electrician in the U.S. Navy from September 1941 through August 1945.  According to his family he’s the only survivor left from the Pearl Harbor attack in Arkansas.   

“Being a little farm boy and going out like that. I was learning quick,” Pearl Harbor survivor William Chase said.  

Chase has a sea of pictures and paraphernalia to remember what happened. He said it’s a date he will never forget.  

“We see the planes all flying over, just see the sky was black,” Chase said. That’s because he witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Chase says everyday started the same – they would practice dive bombing but on the 7th things changed.  

“But this morning the plans sounded different,” Chase said.  

Chase has only been at the Pearl Harbor since the first of the month, little did he know he was on duty when WWII started. Although Chase had only joined the Navy at 17-years-old, he was put to work.  

“And put us out there,” Chase said. “Picking up survivors – which some of them were alive, some of them weren’t.” 

Chase met his wife, the day he came back to Arkansas after the attack. Just last week they celebrated their 75th marriage anniversary.  

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