WWII pilot reflects on life after being shot down in Pearl Harbo - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

WWII pilot reflects on life after being shot down in Pearl Harbor

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Albert Wade, WWII pilot shot down during the bombing of Pearl Harbor Albert Wade, WWII pilot shot down during the bombing of Pearl Harbor

75 years ago, the world was at war. The United States at the time was an interested party, but not an active participant. That all changed on December 7th, 1941 when Japanese pilots began an early morning attack. 

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Albert Wade did not expect to survive the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Today, the World War II pilot reflects on this moment in history, and a lifetime to follow. 

"When we arrived at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were everywhere," Wade said. "I called to the men to get to the ground as quickly as possible, but they couldn't. They shot us all down."

The bombing at Pearl Harbor claimed Wade's entire fleet.

"They were just kids," Wade said. "We were all just kids. I'm the last living B-17 pilot shot down in Pearl Harbor."

No one knew Wade survived. Wade's family was told he was killed in action.

"When I hit the water, they pulled me out before my plane exploded and burned up all my crew," Wade said.

When the Red Cross found the 23-year-old survivor, his injuries were severe.

"I was paralyzed," Wade said. "They brought me home."

Today, Albert Wade celebrates 98 years of more than just survival. 

"I understand as I go to hospitals and go to the cemetery, go to funerals, go to people dying....be able to tell them that they only have so many days to live, and that's all," Wade said. "Stay happy. Love one another."

On this December 7th, we remember Pearl Harbor, recognize our nation's heroes, and honor their sacrifice. 

For Wade, he takes little credit. 

"I'm just glad that i'm able to help so many people," Wade said. "I've only got 27 more years to live. I'm an old dog, I won't give up!"

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