ALAMEDA (KCBS) – Wednesday marked the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, which left 2,402 Americans dead and drew the country into World War II. A Bay Area survivor is the main speaker at the remembrance onboard the USS Hornet in Alameda.

Ed Silveira of Hayward was 19 years old, working in the USS San Francisco’s mess hall at Pearl Harbor, when just before 8 a.m. on December 7th of 1941 a voice boomed over the loudspeaker ordering sailors to man their battle stations. Silveira ran on deck to see aircraft all over the skies.

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KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“They were just peppering the hell out of the bay, and I said ‘my, what a good mock battle,'” said Silveira. “But when I saw them drop a torpedo bomb and hit the West Virginia, I said hey, this is the real thing.”

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The USS San Francisco wasn’t damaged then, but Silveira was onboard months later when the crew saw heavy action and damage in the Battle of Guadalcanal.

“It’s considered the most ferocious battle that’s ever been fought in the history of our country,” said Silveira.

Silveira was transferred to the USS Hornet when it was commissioned in 1943, and said that he’s the only original plank owner who goes onboard on a regular basis due to the dwindling number of local World War II survivors.

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