Utah veteran honored for service at Pearl Harbor 82 years ago

Dec 7, 2023, 9:38 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2023, 7:19 am

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Ed Carroll woke to the sound of airplanes and gunshots on Dec. 7, 1941.

“You wouldn’t imagine how many airplanes were in the air over a small area. I can’t imagine how they didn’t collide with one another, but they didn’t,” Carroll told KSL TV over a video call.

The 16-year-old Carroll had arrived at Pearl Harbor three days before the attack as a crew member working on a new model plane. He remembers running from his room to headquarters.

“I ran up on the steps, about four steps going up to the front door, and there was a man standing at the top of the steps handing out rifles, and told us to go shoot at the planes,” Carroll said.

A picture of Carroll when he was serving in the military. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll) 

Carroll said he only learned one thing from that experience.

“I learned that war is,” he said.

Now, on Thursday, years after that day, Carroll listens to the sounds of a military tribute at the harbor.

“I’ve been back twice before but I’m seeing things this time that I’ve never seen before,” he said.

Carroll (left) with other WII veterans at the Pearl Harbor ceremony. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll) 

At 98 years old, Carroll was one of about a dozen veterans recognized at a ceremony on Pearl Harbor.

“It was a big deal for me. I never expected to be honored or to be in a group that was honored. Really breathtaking to me,” Carroll said.

Carroll served from 1941 to 1945 – he started as a 16-year-old and ended at age 20; next year, he’ll turn 99. He’ll finish up his time in Hawaii and return early Saturday morning.

Carroll (left) with other veterans. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll) Carroll (middle) in a replica plane. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll)  Carroll (left) next to a Gulf War veteran. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll)

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Utah veteran honored for service at Pearl Harbor 82 years ago