Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/22/2014 11:31 PM

Suburban Pearl Harbor survivors hold final reunion

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Pearl Harbor survivor Lyle Hancock of Wheeling shakes hands with Eric "Rick" Miller on Sunday during the final meeting of Chapter One of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association in Libertyville. Miller's late father was a member of the association.

       Pearl Harbor survivor Lyle Hancock of Wheeling shakes hands with Eric "Rick" Miller on Sunday during the final meeting of Chapter One of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association in Libertyville. Miller's late father was a member of the association.
    Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • Joe Triolo, left, of Waukegan is one of the two surviving members of the Chapter One of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The organization held its final meeting Sunday in Libertyville.

       Joe Triolo, left, of Waukegan is one of the two surviving members of the Chapter One of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The organization held its final meeting Sunday in Libertyville.
    Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

 

The ranks of Pearl Harbor survivors are dwindling, the inevitable result of the passage of time.

Yet through the efforts of the survivors' descendants, the memory of the events of Dec. 7, 1941, is kept alive.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

For the past 20 years, Chapter One of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association has held lunches at Lambs Farm in Libertyville.

It's a tradition that Mundelein resident Eric "Rick" Miller and his brother, Robert, have helped keep alive, even after the death of their father, survivor Clarence Miller, who had his ashes spread over Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 2000.

But, as Robert Miller explained Sunday, the national Pearl Harbor Survivors Association decided in December, 2011 that, as members were getting up in age and unable to fill offices, it would disband.

On Sunday, the chapter held its final luncheon for its last two members, Joe Triolo of Waukegan and Lyle Hancock of Wheeling.

The organization is donating the remainder of its funds, nearly $2,000, to Lambs Farm.

"Lambs Farm has been a great supporter of this organization, this local chapter, and it seemed fitting that we make the donation," Robert Miller said.

Triolo, 94, said he was aboard the cargo ship USS Tangier at the time of the attack. He said he was in his bunk, below decks, reading "the funnies."

"So when the alarm went off, I didn't react like I normally would, like it was an emergency, because we had been having drills upon drills," Triolo said. "So I thought this was another drill. So I took my time getting to my gun station."

When he arrived on the main deck and spotted the Japanese planes, he realized that it was more than a drill.

"Finally, we got going, and I was shooting at the plane that sunk the (USS) Utah," he said.

During the attack, there was no fear, just reaction.

"But when it stopped, then that's when the fear come in."

Hancock, 92, said he was stationed at the Navy Yard Dispensary in December 1941. He was standing by his bunk with fellow soldiers when the attack began, and quickly rushed to his station where "all hell was going on, because they were bringing the kids in out of the harbor that had either blown off their ship or they had jumped off the ship."

During Sunday's luncheon, the room was filled with memorabilia, including pictures of the group's members.

Hancock's son, Rory, of Wheeling, was among the family members attending.

"I think it's very nice that they have kept this going," he said. "It's to honor men who served when they were kids, to save our country and to save us. Who knows? We might not be here if it weren't for those men."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.