BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — A Beloit World War II Veteran remembers the deadly attack all too well.
Stan Van Hoose survived the bombings in Hawaii, and he vividly recalled the tragedy 80 years later. He is now 101-years-old, and said that he a navigator in the Navy during the attack on Pearl Harbor and will never forget the day.
“What was on my mind? Yeah, win and fight, win and fight,” Van Hoose said.
Van Hoose was just 18-years-old when he joined the Navy right after graduating high school. The next year, he was onboard a ship at Pearl Harbor when Japan launched its surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941.
“I was the only man that would stand up and say, ‘I’ll take it,'” Van Hoose said. “I grew up in Kentucky, my father always told me, ‘don’t ever walk away from a fight.'”
Van Hoose now lives at Beloit Senior Living Center. He said that his father taught him to never back down from a fight, and that he was not going to back down from fighting for his country.
Van Hoose recalled seeing his friends after the bombing.
“I was getting ready to re-enlist for the 4th time and then I saw a guy with Navy clothes on,” Van Hoose said. “I knew he was… he was dead.”
After Pearl Harbor, Van Hoose went on to fight in World War II for 46 months. He said that he is blessed and thankful to have lived such a life, traveling the world and most importantly, fighting for his country.
“The war came up and I comer out said, ‘forget it, I’m through fighting. If I fight now, I’m going to do it for a reason, and so that we will be free,”‘ Van Hoose said.
Van Hoose said that he hopes the next generations will continue to remember and honor the sacrifices that were made at Pearl Harbor.