July 23, 2018
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2 Mainers share their stories about living through the Pearl Harbor attack

By Dan MacLeod, BDN Staff
Updated:

The BDN’s Tim Cox in 2013 interviewed Robert Coles and Alma Vane, who were both in Honolulu 74 years ago today — when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400.

Both Coles and Vane ended up living in Machias.

Coles was a 17-year-old sailor at the time of the attack, while Vane was a little girl living on an Army base with her family.

Coles arrived at Pearl Harbor in October. He was given a choice of serving on one of three ships. He chose the USS Bagley, a destroyer. One of the other two choices was the battleship USS Arizona, which was a target in the Japanese attack and sank in less than 10 minutes after being heavily damaged.

“One thousand, one hundred and seventy-seven men died aboard the USS Arizona,” recalled Coles. “It could have been one thousand, one hundred and seventy-eight.”

Check out the video to see their stories.


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