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Pearl Harbor Survivor Confident Attack ‘Will Never Be Forgotten’

Dec. 8, 2016 | BY Lisa Ferdinando

Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Delton Walling has a message: Don't ever forget Pearl Harbor and the service members who died in the attack and in World War II.

Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Delton Walling, right, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors member Joanne Ericksen, left, and her father, Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Mel Heckman, attend the commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando
Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Delton Walling, right, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors member Joanne Ericksen, left, and her father, Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Mel Heckman, attend the commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando
Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Delton Walling, right, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors member Joanne Ericksen, left, and her father, Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Mel Heckman, attend the commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando
Pearl Harbor Veterans
Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Delton Walling, right, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors member Joanne Ericksen, left, and her father, Pearl Harbor survivor and Navy veteran Mel Heckman, attend the commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando
Photo By: DoD
VIRIN: 161207-D-BN624-008

Walling, who was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania, said he worked as a communications person for Navy Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, who was then the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Walling said he was "180 feet in the air" in a communication tower on base at Pearl Harbor the time of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack.

"I saw it all," he said, adding, "Do not ever forget Pearl Harbor and the kids that fought the war in the Pacific."

Back in 1941, he said, he was just a 19-year-old kid, just like many of the other sailors. He made it home; more than 2,400 service members did not survive the assault on military sites throughout the island of Oahu.

He has a simple request: "When you go to sleep tonight, would you say a little prayer for all those kids who did not come back, never had a life, but they gave you your freedom?"

Despite the passage of decades, Walling said he is confident the events of that day will not be lost to the ages.

"Little kids ... come by and put their little hand in mine and say 'Thank you,’" he said, emphasizing, "Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten."

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)