Navy honors two area Pearl Harbor survivors

Veronica Robinson, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Friday marks 71 years since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and two local survivors were honored in D.C. at the U.S. Navy Memorial during a wreath laying ceremony.

Frank Yanick was a 19-year-old seaman on the U.S.S. Phoenix on that fateful day. He says “they sounded ‘all hands, man your battle stations’.”

The 91-year-old remembers manning his station and “commenced firing at anything (any plane) that was flying, I don’t care who you were,” he recalls to WTOP.

Al Grasselli, 93, was at the Marine Air Base in Hawaii at the time of the attack.

He and a friend had a late night on Waikiki beach, then hit the sack a few hours before the attack. He remembers awaking at 7:15 that fateful morning, still in his dress uniform, he says.

His unit brought down a plane that day, he says.

These days, Yanick jokes that “he’s got girlfriends all over the place.” And after experiencing what he did at Pearl Harbor, he warns America “to beware and be prepared.”

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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