Cleveland veteran remembers Pearl Harbor - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland veteran remembers Pearl Harbor

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - They knew in Washington something was going to happen, but they figured it would be in the Philippines, not this close," said George Allen, World War II Veteran.

George Allen was peeling potatoes on the morning of December 7, 1941 with another solider.

As they sat on their stools he says he noticed something.

"I look up in the sky, I said: I must be back in Maine, I said look at all them birds going past and it was the bombers, about 250 of them," said Allen

"I no sooner get that out of my mouth and a zero comes around the corner and takes a pop at us," said Allen.

Bullets buzzed all around Allen, just inches from his body.

"We were lucky because we couldn't find a 3 foot stools to sit on. We could only find the little stools, but if we had been on the 3 footers he would have gotten part of our heads," said Allen.

"We weren't even scared because we didn't know what was happening," said Allen.

But it didn't take them long to figure out they were being attacked and he and his partner weren't prepared..

"I was scared then, because we were worried because we couldn't get our guns," said Allen.

1 hour and ten minutes later, the shots were silenced.  

"All of the ships were in pieces. All of them were damaged," said Allen.

The memories of what he heard and saw will live on in his mind.  

And the hole left behind by the bullet that almost took his life will be a reminder to future generations on what he faced 73 years ago.

"That was still there and there's a sign over it," said Allen.

Allen was honored Sunday by the VFW in Cleveland for his service in World War II. They named a local pavilion after Allen.
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