Now 97, Navy veteran recalls 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

  • This photo provided by retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long shows Long in his Navy uniform in 1941. Long wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when Japanese warplanes bombed Hawaii on December 7, 1941 - he was on the opposite side of Oahu aboard an anchored seaplane in Kaneohe Bay. But the Japanese strike reached his installation soon after Pearl Harbor, and the young sailor watched from afar as explosions and gunfire consumed him and his comrades. Now, 77 years later, Long will remember that day from even farther away - across the Pacific at his home in Northern California. (Don Long via AP)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2015 file photo, the sun rises over Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when Japanese warplanes bombed Hawaii on December 7, 1941 - he was on the opposite side of Oahu aboard an anchored seaplane in Kaneohe Bay. But the Japanese strike reached his installation soon after Pearl Harbor, and the young sailor watched from afar as explosions and gunfire consumed him and his comrades. Now, 77 years later, Long will remember that day from even farther away - across the Pacific near his home in Napa, California. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, file)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, a patrol bomber burns at a military installation on Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long wasn’t at Pearl Harbor when Japanese warplanes bombed Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 - he was on the opposite side of Oahu aboard an anchored seaplane in Kaneohe Bay. But the Japanese strike reached his installation soon after Pearl Harbor, and the young sailor watched from afar as explosions and gunfire consumed him and his comrades. Now, 77 years later, Long will remember that day from even farther away - across the Pacific near his home in Napa, Calif. (U.S. Navy via AP, File)

  • Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long holds up a replica of the military seaplane he was standing watch on when Japanese warplanes attacked Hawaii 77 years ago, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 at his home in Napa, California. Long was alone on the anchored plane in the middle of Kaneohe Bay, across the island from Pearl Harbor, when the attack happened, watching from afar as the bombs and bullets killed and wounded thousands. When the gunfire finally reached his plane, setting the aircraft ablaze, he jumped into the water and found himself swimming through fire to safety. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

HONOLULU — Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long was alone on an anchored military seaplane in the middle of a bay across the island from Pearl Harbor when Japanese warplanes started striking Hawaii on December 7, 1941, watching from afar as the bombs and bullets killed and wounded thousands.

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