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From the Galley to the Guns Jesse Reynolds, Missouri’s Oldest Living Pearl Harbor Survivor, Came Up From the Kitchen and Saw the Planes

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1 minute read

With Pearl Harbor survivors well into their 90s, and some passing the century mark, their numbers are shrinking all over the United States. Of the 60,000 Pearl Harbor survivors it is believed that fewer than 2,000 survivors are alive today.

Jesse Reynolds of Gallatin, Missouri, was aboard the USS MacDonough when it was anchored in Pearl Harbor the morning of December 7, 1941. Reynolds was among the first to spot the incoming Japanese aircraft that morning and informed the only officer on board of the pending attack. After Pearl Harbor, Reynolds was assigned to the newly commissioned USS Radford, where he served in support of the Battle of Guadalcanal and in the Battle of Kula Gulf, where Reynolds helped rescue the survivors of the USS Helena.

In June, Reynolds received a lifetime achievement award during the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Missouri convention. Today, state VFW officials consider him Missouri’s oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor. He sat down with Flatland to talk about his memories of the date which will live in infamy.

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