From left, standing, are Betty Schott, Sid Kennedy, Charlie Boyer, seated, Bud Colburn, Ray Daves, Warren Schott and Denis Mikkelsen.
I took this photo six years ago when the local chapter of Pearl Harbor Survivors were gifted with pies from Cyrus O’ Leary when they honored hometown heroes on National Pie Day.
Sadly, today I learned that Charlie Boyer (seated) passed away on April 15.
In six short years we’ve lost every one of these precious people.
Now, only 93-year-old Ray Garland (not pictured) remains as the sole member of the Lilac City Chapter of Pearl Harbor Survivors.
I interviewed Charlie many times over the years, including a story about his love for his bride, Irene.
On Dec. 7, 1941, he was a 21-year-old seaman stationed at Naval Air Station Kaneohe. He was driving a truck, bringing someone back from church when he saw an airplane flying toward them. “I said, ‘Look at the show the Army’s putting on,’ ” he recalled. “Then I saw the big ol’ red meatballs on the wings of the plane. I said, ‘Army, hell!’ ”
Here are a few more Charlie quotes:
“The planes were coming over us, shooting at us and dropping bombs.They did a hell of job,” he said of the Japanese pilots. “They got every warplane on Kaneohe.”
Of the attack he said, “Time seemed like forever. I’d say a few of us were pretty scared.” He told of a fellow soldier on guard duty who shot at a fence post. “He swore it moved,” he recalled with a grin.
Rest in peace, Charlie. Rest in peace.