This December we mark the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched America into World War Two.
Today we're saluting one of the only local survivors of that attack.
Private First Class George Allen sat down with our Nordia Epps to share his memories of the "Date that Lives in Infamy."
Allen, says, "( laughter) I'm lucky."
With his infectious laugh...Allen credits Lady Luck for surviving the date that lived in infamy, December 7, 1941.
More than 70 years after the deadly ambush...Allen is the only Pearl Harbor survivor left in the Chattanooga area.
Allen says, "It was hot there. They had blown up everyone of our planes except three."
He remembers the attack play-by-play...starting with the first signs something was wrong...250 Japanese bombers approaching the island of Oahau.
He tells me they looked like Canadian geese.
He and another soldier were on K.P. duty peeling potatoes.
Allen, "All of a sudden the Jap Zero comes around the building. He comes down the field and sprayed. He just made it to the edge and made his turn and come in. He could see us. He let go a burst which hit over our head."
Six or seven inches over their heads, he tells me.
Allen, "Right after that, the bombing started. The bombers just hit."
The action at Pearl Harbor lasted just over an hour...but Allen says it seemed much longer than that.
Then America's role in the second World War began...sending Allen on a nearly 4 year tour of some of the biggest battlegrounds of the war.
Allen, "I was in 6 invasions all together. Four in the Southwest Pacific and 2 in the Philipines."
It earned him six Bronze Stars ... among other awards...a head full of memories, and a body battered on the battlefield.
Allen, "I had malaria three times I almost died twice with that.
He adds, "I had blood poisoning in my left arm from a piece of shrapnel. I went to the field hospital. They cut it. They didn't even put nothing on it. They cut it open, bent my arm behind my back so I wouldn't see them cutting and two days later I want back on the frontline."
After three years, eight months and 12 days on the frontline... Just before the peace treaty...Allen made it home...but it took 30 days on a cattleship..with a Japanese sub on its tail.
Allen, "It was good to be home. We were just hoping we wouldn't get nailed at the last minute."
Even now, decades later, the World War Two Veteran tells his story in vivid detail.
Reporter, "Do you consider yourself a hero??"
But like his service and sacrifice...not for recognition.
Reporter, "You think it's important that people remember all that and what happened?
Allen, "Yeah! Because they don't really understand it now."
Still we recognize this national hero...as we salute our military.