Veterans Day Salute: One Spokane Man's Story of Growing Up In Pe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Veterans Day Salute: One Spokane Man's Story of Growing Up In Pearl Harbor

Posted: Updated:
Spokane resident Bob Snider remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor vividly Spokane resident Bob Snider remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor vividly

He grew up in Pearl Harbor more than 70 years ago, but for Bob Snider, the memories of life on the island are still fresh.

His Spokane home is covered in photos and memorabilia from those days, including a picture of him as a child swimming in Pearl Harbor with his father, photos of his childhood home, his mother's tropical artwork and memories of the day that changed everything.

"There was always noise in the harbor," Snider recalled about the morning of December 7, 1941.

He was outside eating mulberries when he heard something that wasn't right.

"I don't know if it was the Arizona blowing up or not, but I decided I better run out and see what was happening on the water," Snider told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

What was happening was one of the largest attacks ever on American Soil and it was unfolding before his own eyes about a mile from his home.

"My bedroom window faced Ford Island and we could see the Japanese dive bombers coming down," Snider said, adding that parents made him go back inside as the three watched the attack. "We were all speechless, just looking. We never really thought it was going to happen."

Snider was too young to understand what all the smoke and chaos meant.

But when the radio signaled the attack was real and that military members should return to the base, a bullet penetrated their home and his father nearly lost his life.

"As he was getting ready to leave the house a Japanese bullet missed him by three feet," Snider said. "Then I was scared, then I was crying, then I knew this was real."

He later collected a shoebox full of fragments from American anti-aircraft shells that were fired that day during the second wave of the Japanese attack. Today, he only has one left.

He remembers that civilians were evacuated to safer ground, but because the family car was gone, Snider and his mother were mistakenly left behind.

"When mother and I were alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and we were scared to death, all we had was what the Japanese didn't destroy, and that wasn't much," he added. "The fear was incredible."

He remembers school was closed for three months and when it finally resumed they practiced drills for weapons and chemical attacks, fearing the Japanese would return.

In August of 1942 he went to California to stay with family before his parents could leave Hawaii. The opening of what's now Fairchild AFB in Spokane eventually brought them up to the Pacific Northwest.

On this Veterans Day, Snider met with the small group of survivors from that day who now live in the Inland Northwest. There are only seven surviving Pearl Harbor veterans in Spokane and one other civilian survivor.

"[Service men and women] put their lives on the line for the rest of us and we're lucky it's being done," he added.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th

    Friday, July 21 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-07-21 06:00:13 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 20th.

    More >>
  • Passing driver saves woman, six kids in car crash on Highway 2

    Passing driver saves woman, six kids in car crash on Highway 2

    Friday, July 21 2017 12:55 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:55:27 GMT

    LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. - Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is crediting a total stranger from preventing a very possible tragedy. Deputies say a woman was driving a van with 6 young children when she fell asleep on Highway 2 near Davenport, driving off the road and into a pond. As most of the van went under, a passing driver pulled over, waded into the deep water, and helped get them to safety. First responders rushed to the scene.  No one was injured.  

    More >>

    LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. - Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is crediting a total stranger from preventing a very possible tragedy. Deputies say a woman was driving a van with 6 young children when she fell asleep on Highway 2 near Davenport, driving off the road and into a pond. As most of the van went under, a passing driver pulled over, waded into the deep water, and helped get them to safety. First responders rushed to the scene.  No one was injured.  

    More >>
  • N. Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force asks for public's help finding wanted fugitive

    N. Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force asks for public's help finding wanted fugitive

    Friday, July 21 2017 12:44 AM EDT2017-07-21 04:44:53 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF) is seeking information leading to the arrest of 27-year-old Mallory Ann Helling. Helling is being sought based on a Kootenai County felony warrant for possession of meth with the intent to deliver. Helling is 5’3 tall, 135 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last known to be living in Post Falls, ID. Anyone with information regarding Helling should call the NIVCTF at 208-665-4455. 

    More >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF) is seeking information leading to the arrest of 27-year-old Mallory Ann Helling. Helling is being sought based on a Kootenai County felony warrant for possession of meth with the intent to deliver. Helling is 5’3 tall, 135 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. She was last known to be living in Post Falls, ID. Anyone with information regarding Helling should call the NIVCTF at 208-665-4455. 

    More >>