Brackenridge American Legion honors area's last Pearl Harbor survivor
The date has lived on in infamy, but the remaining ranks of those who were there are few.
At one time, the Brackenridge American Legion post would honor many survivors. Now, they’re down to one — George Pann , 96, of Harrison, believed to be the only surviving Alle-Kiski Valley veteran of Pearl Harbor.
He attended the Legion’s services in remembrance and honor of the members of “The Greatest Generation,” including those who have passed and the few who remain but he declined to make any comments.
Pann was 19 and an Army private in an artillery unit on the northeast coast of Oahu when the Japanese launched their surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941.
He survived strafing runs and went on to serve in the Pacific Theater in the Gilbert Islands, the Philippines and Okinawa until 1945.
“George, we look forward to seeing you next year and in the years to come,” said Legion Commander Frank Svitek Jr. “Thank you for your service. We salute you.”
Participating in the services was Robbie Lynn of Springdale, who sang the national anthem. She participates in events at the Legion to honor her cousin, Lance Cpl. Robert L. Ringler Jr., a Marine from Brackenridge who died in Vietnam in December 1966.
Joy Ann Trainer of Greensburg came to Brackenridge to give Pann a copy of a book written by her late father, Navy veteran Charles L. Jackson. He also was a Pearl Harbor survivor, having been aboard the battleship USS Pennsylvania, which was in dry dock. It was the lead ship of her class, the only other being the USS Arizona, which exploded and sank in the attack.
Trainer said her father’s book, “On to Pearl Harbor and Beyond,” tells of the Japanese mini-sub that had attacked Pearl Harbor.
“I wanted to give him a gift to say ‘thank you,’” Trainer said.
Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.