Boone County Man Tells Local Pearl Harbor Veterans’ Stories
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and one Boone County man is making sure the stories of those who fought and survived this terrible time in America are heard and that their legacy lives on.
Robert Ryder is a Boone County resident who has been interviewing and sharing the stories of Pearl Harbor veterans so that future generations can fully understand the importance of this tragic day in American history.
Ryder has interviewed several Rockford area Pearl Harbor survivors, and some of their recounts of December 7, 1941 are shared in the latest edition of Northwest Quarterly, which is on newsstands now.
Rockford resident, Bill Foster, is one of the Pearl Harbor survivors who's story is featured in the article. He was stationed on the USS Selfridge in Pearl Harbor, and was on board a boat picking up supplies for his ship when the Japanese plane attacks began. He explained to Ryder;
Some of the Japanese planes were so low they seemed to skim just above the water. You could see the pilot smiling and even see his gold teeth! It was something you never dreamed of.
Foster survived, and despite over 2,000 lives being lost that day, he explained to Ryder that he "didn't feel afraid" during the attacks.