The Greatest Generations Foundation
(DEC 06, 2020) – HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Join us in wishing Pearl Harbor Survivor Clarence Byal a BIG 99th birthday today.
Clarence was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 6, 1921. Despite being born in the United States, he spent his childhood and teen years in Canada, working the farm with his brothers. It wasn’t until he tried to join the Canadian military that he realized he was an American citizen.
With that knowledge, he traveled to the United States and joined the US Navy. It took some time for his paperwork to come through, and he spent that time working at the YMCA, which also provided him lodging.
He fondly remembers a woman at a local restaurant providing him with free meals during that time. With his finances growing short, his paperwork was finally approved, and he found himself in boot camp and then eventually on the USS St. Louis, a light-cruiser stationed at Pearl Harbor.
On December 6, 1941, he enjoyed liberty ashore and looked forward to the same the next day. It was then, on December 7, that the Japanese attacked. Watching from his battle-station on the deck of the ship, he watched explosions and fire spread throughout the harbor. He would spend the rest of the day rescuing survivors and doing battle-damage repairs aboard the ship.
Clarence comes from a proud military family. His brothers served in different military branches, fighting in wars that stretched from World War II through Vietnam. Clarence today now makes his home in northern California and spends his days reflecting on the good times in his life, Pearl Harbor being a vivid memory that sticks with him.
Please join us in wishing Pearl Harbor Survivor Clarence Byal a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation