Pearl Harbor Veteran Bud Montagne Dies
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Now let's remember a veteran of a very different war. Arthur Bernard Montagne died over the weekend. Seventy years ago he was a sailor: a U.S. Navy radio operator on the Battleship California, which was anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It was the morning of December 7th, 1941.
ARTHUR BERNARD MONTAGNE: And I could look out and see the Japanese planes, which were just airplanes to me. And I thought it was just a drill that nobody told us about.
INSKEEP: Bud Montagne was a 20-year-old sailor from Iowa. He'd joined the Navy because he couldn't afford college in the Great Depression. So in 1941, he stood on an upper deck of the battleship, watching those mysterious planes.
BERNARD MONTAGNE: I saw two of them approaching us just about the level of my eyes across the harbor. And they obviously were two torpedo planes. And about half the distance across the harbor, they each dropped their torpedo. Then I started watching the rivulets of the torpedoes coming and approaching the ship. And then finally they disappeared from my view and a fraction of a second later they hit the side of our ship.
INSKEEP: It was from before Pearl Harbor, when Bud Montagne was young man with so many possibilities. He was standing high on a battleship, looking out across the white-capped sea.
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INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, Host:
And I'm David Greene.
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