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

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>>

  • Team recovers body of 19 year old who disappeared on pass

    Team recovers body of 19 year old who disappeared on pass

    Sunday, June 25 2017 7:00 PM EDT2017-06-25 23:00:46 GMT

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - A mountain rescue team has recovered the body of a 19-year-old Mercer Island man who disappeared into a crevasse on Aasgard Pass on June 4.      The Chelan County Sheriff's Office says the team and a sheriff's deputy recovered the body of Benjamin Gore at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. 

    >>

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - A mountain rescue team has recovered the body of a 19-year-old Mercer Island man who disappeared into a crevasse on Aasgard Pass on June 4.      The Chelan County Sheriff's Office says the team and a sheriff's deputy recovered the body of Benjamin Gore at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. 

    >>
  • New study of Seattle's $15 minimum wage says it costs jobs

    Monday, June 26 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-06-26 16:25:52 GMT

    SEATTLE, Wash. - A new study of Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law says it costs jobs, contrary to another new study released last week. The Seattle Times reports a University of Washington team found the law boosted pay in low-wage jobs since 2014  but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that's a loss of about $125 per month.

    >>

    SEATTLE, Wash. - A new study of Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law says it costs jobs, contrary to another new study released last week. The Seattle Times reports a University of Washington team found the law boosted pay in low-wage jobs since 2014  but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that's a loss of about $125 per month.

    >>
  • Southwest flight diverted after woman attempts to open door while plane was in the air

    Southwest flight diverted after woman attempts to open door while plane was in the air

    Monday, June 26 2017 12:23 PM EDT2017-06-26 16:23:00 GMT

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. - Authorities say a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Houston was diverted after a passenger became disruptive and attempted to open an exterior door while the plane was in the air.

    >>

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. - Authorities say a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Houston was diverted after a passenger became disruptive and attempted to open an exterior door while the plane was in the air. Southwest Flight 4519 was diverted Sunday to the Texas Gulf coast city of Corpus Christi where the passenger was removed. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • The Latest: Audit says Senate bill would leave 22m uninsured

    The Latest: Audit says Senate bill would leave 22m uninsured

    Monday, June 26 2017 4:50 PM EDT2017-06-26 20:50:59 GMT

    WASHINGTON - The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law. That's according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    >>

    WASHINGTON - The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law. That's according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    >>
  • President's media strategy creating friction

    President's media strategy creating friction

    Monday, June 26 2017 4:10 PM EDT2017-06-26 20:10:22 GMT

    WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's briefing with reporters created friction on Monday, with CNN's Jim Acosta interrupting President Donald Trump's chief spokesman to demand he explain why television cameras were ordered off. Spicer said the White House will have a mix of different ways to deal with media questions.

    >>

    WASHINGTON - White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's briefing with reporters created friction on Monday, with CNN's Jim Acosta interrupting President Donald Trump's chief spokesman to demand he explain why television cameras were ordered off. Spicer said the White House will have a mix of different ways to deal with media questions.

    >>
  • Strawberry season is here!

    Strawberry season is here!

    Monday, June 26 2017 3:16 PM EDT2017-06-26 19:16:38 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It is strawberry season in the Inland Northwest which means summer is officially here! The first day of summer is traditionally the first day Siemers Farm at Greenbluff opens.  A long-time farmer and owner Byron Siemers says this year is a great crop. "They are a bit smaller, but that means they are also sweeter," Siemers says.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - It is strawberry season in the Inland Northwest which means summer is officially here! The first day of summer is traditionally the first day Siemers Farm at Greenbluff opens.  A long-time farmer and owner Byron Siemers says this year is a great crop. "They are a bit smaller, but that means they are also sweeter," Siemers says.

    >>