COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Central Ohio veteran was only 18 when he found himself in the middle of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Milton Mapou is now 94 years old, and sharing his story with NBC4’s Marcus Thorpe.
When the attack started, Mapou was on the deck of the USS Detroit, a light cruiser.
“I was just getting ready to sit down and have my breakfast when we heard this loud explosion. I look up, and here comes this plane. I mean, that plane was so low, I could see the pilot’s smiling face,” Mapou said.
He described the next few minutes as some of the scariest in his life.
He survived that day, but knew that so many of his friends did not.
Mapou continued to serve through the war until he was injured in an attack.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Monday in remembrance of all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Monday marks the 74th anniversary since the Japanese attacks at the American naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii. The U.S. Congress declared war against Japan a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The governor also urged all Ohioans to attend special ceremonies and remembrances honoring those who lost their lives that day.