Veterans Day Salute: One Spokane Man's Story of Growing Up In Pe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Veterans Day Salute: One Spokane Man's Story of Growing Up In Pearl Harbor

Posted: Updated:
Spokane resident Bob Snider remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor vividly Spokane resident Bob Snider remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor vividly

He grew up in Pearl Harbor more than 70 years ago, but for Bob Snider, the memories of life on the island are still fresh.

His Spokane home is covered in photos and memorabilia from those days, including a picture of him as a child swimming in Pearl Harbor with his father, photos of his childhood home, his mother's tropical artwork and memories of the day that changed everything.

"There was always noise in the harbor," Snider recalled about the morning of December 7, 1941.

He was outside eating mulberries when he heard something that wasn't right.

"I don't know if it was the Arizona blowing up or not, but I decided I better run out and see what was happening on the water," Snider told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

What was happening was one of the largest attacks ever on American Soil and it was unfolding before his own eyes about a mile from his home.

"My bedroom window faced Ford Island and we could see the Japanese dive bombers coming down," Snider said, adding that parents made him go back inside as the three watched the attack. "We were all speechless, just looking. We never really thought it was going to happen."

Snider was too young to understand what all the smoke and chaos meant.

But when the radio signaled the attack was real and that military members should return to the base, a bullet penetrated their home and his father nearly lost his life.

"As he was getting ready to leave the house a Japanese bullet missed him by three feet," Snider said. "Then I was scared, then I was crying, then I knew this was real."

He later collected a shoebox full of fragments from American anti-aircraft shells that were fired that day during the second wave of the Japanese attack. Today, he only has one left.

He remembers that civilians were evacuated to safer ground, but because the family car was gone, Snider and his mother were mistakenly left behind.

"When mother and I were alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and we were scared to death, all we had was what the Japanese didn't destroy, and that wasn't much," he added. "The fear was incredible."

He remembers school was closed for three months and when it finally resumed they practiced drills for weapons and chemical attacks, fearing the Japanese would return.

In August of 1942 he went to California to stay with family before his parents could leave Hawaii. The opening of what's now Fairchild AFB in Spokane eventually brought them up to the Pacific Northwest.

On this Veterans Day, Snider met with the small group of survivors from that day who now live in the Inland Northwest. There are only seven surviving Pearl Harbor veterans in Spokane and one other civilian survivor.

"[Service men and women] put their lives on the line for the rest of us and we're lucky it's being done," he added.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:10:27 GMT
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.>>
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.
    >>
  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:33:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:28:11 GMT
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>
  • Body camera pilot program begins

    Body camera pilot program begins

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:23 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:23:48 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department will equip some officers with body cameras Monday, after Police Chief Frank Straub fast tracked pilot program. The Spokesman-Review reports 17 officers will receive the cameras designed to promote accountability and transparency within the police force. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department will equip some officers with body cameras Monday, after Police Chief Frank Straub fast tracked pilot program. The Spokesman-Review reports 17 officers will receive the cameras designed to promote accountability and transparency within the police force. >>
  • Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home

    Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:39:10 GMT
    The Gray family never felt squeezed into their 4 bedroom, two-story home Alta Lake home. It comfortably housed the parents and their six kids. Sadly, when their rental burned down, this family was left searching for a next step.>>
    The Gray family never felt squeezed into their 4 bedroom, two-story home Alta Lake home. It comfortably housed the parents and their six kids. Sadly, when their rental burned down, this family was left searching for a next step.>>