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Wednesday 19 June, 2024
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Ed Hall Pearl Harbor survivor Dead at 99, Cause of Death

BY Anas Shah Nov 03, 2022. 10:38 pm UPDATED: Nov 03, 2022. 10:38 pm

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This week at the age of 99, the last known Pearl Harbor survivor in Nevada passed away peacefully in his sleep, but not before making one last joke with his nurses.

According to his friend Greg Mannarino, Edward “Ed” Hall passed away on Wednesday at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center at 2:45 a.m.

The night before his death, Mannarino visited his longtime buddy and told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was “full of life” and cracking jokes with the nurses.

Hall was in this country. When Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2,403 Americans, the Army Air Corps was just 18 years old.

Mannarino, a close friend of Hall’s, paid him a visit the night before he passed away on Tuesday.

‘He passed away peacefully in his sleep,’ Mannarino confirmed. ‘He joked with the nurses last night. Before I left he said “I love you.” He seemed still full of life. The doctor told me that “When we went to check on him, he was unresponsive.” I just fell over completely. He was the greatest guy, from the greatest generation. Those men were cut from a different cloth.’

In an interview with the Review-Journal in August 2020, Hall had stated that he had been disappointed to learn that he was thought to be the last Pearl Harbor survivor still alive in the state of Nevada.

He added that December 7, 1941, was a day he will never forget in the interview.

‘It’ll be forgotten, just like the Civil War, or the Spanish American War,’ Hall said. ‘This country better wake up or it’s going to happen again, that nobody will pay attention to the warning signs, like that day of December 7, 1941.’

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The former Army private claims that on that fateful day, he was cleaning a frying pan while on kitchen duty when he heard what he initially believed to be an air compressor that wasn’t working properly.

However, he encountered the sights and noises of a full-fledged onslaught when he stepped outside the mess hall at Hickam Field (now Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam).

‘What the hell’s going on?’ he remembered yelling as fighter planes roared above him. A fellow serviceman pulled him down and shouted, ‘Do you want to die?’

‘There was shooting going on like you wouldn’t believe,’ Hall told the paper decades later. ‘I’m still amazed I didn’t get hurt.’

Hall recalled seeing an explosion as they sought cover and later learning that it was the USS Arizona being hit, which resulted in the deaths of 1,177 sailors and Marines.

Hall tried to return to school after being released from the Army in 1946 at the age of 23. But he was ignored.

After a while, he wed, had a child, and went to Chicago, where he spent 40 years working as an elevator installer. He retired in Las Vegas in 1994.

Hall still valued education, though, and in 2017 he finally graduated from high school.

‘I am just overwhelmed to know that I am now a high school graduate,’ he told the Review-Journal at the time.

Additionally, Hall revealed to the newspaper that checking off the item “live to be 100” was the last thing on his bucket list.

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‘If I can do that, that’ll fill the bucket,’ he said.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an unannounced attack against the American naval facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

To prevent America’s Pacific Fleet from interfering with activities Japan was planning in Southeast Asia, a surprise military strike was launched.

353 Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes launched from six aircraft carriers assaulted the base at Pearl Harbor in two waves.

At the harbour were eight warships of the US Navy. All were damaged with four being sunk.

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