Local veterans recall attack on Pearl Harbor

Sgt. Major Hank Clark talks about his time serving in the U.S. Marine Corps on Oct. 26 at Hickory Valley Retirement Community in Chattanooga, Tenn.

I was so scared I didn't do too much thinking except thanking the Lord that he protected us.

On the morning the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Chattanoogan Hank Clark was enjoying the day on the deck of the USS Curtiss as it was coming in to dock.

The Japanese swept in just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, and in an instant the Hawaii naval base was a war zone.

"It was a horrible day, really and truly. We were sitting there just happy and enjoying ourselves when all of a sudden, we learned we were under attack," Clark said. "The Japanese planes were coming over and dropping bombs and strafing and everything."