Dec. 7, 1941 is an iconic day not just because it was the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. It’s also an iconic day because Simmons Hanly Conroy client Frank Curre survived it, then passed away that same day 70 years later.
“It’s like he held on for today, which is his special day,” Linda told the family’s local newspaper on Dec. 7, 2011.
Although Frank passed away from mesothelioma, his heroic spirit lives on.
Frank spent many years working as a member of the U.S. Navy. He served as a boatswain’s mate from 1941 through 1946, aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee (BB-43) and the U.S.S. Petrof Bay (CVE-80). On the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Frank was working as a mess cook. He later told many stories about his experience on that fateful day. His descriptions made listeners feel like they were right there in Pearl Harbor, watching it unfold.
On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Frank heard two huge, consecutive blasts. He ran up to the deck to investigate and was dismayed when he saw the U.S.S. Arizona had been hit by a bomb.
“That ship come 12-15 foot in the air, broke in two and settled back down,” Frank said in November, 2011 in an NPR interview about the harrowing experience. “If you’d had a bag of popcorn and you’d went out here in the breeze and threw it up in the air – that was bodies that went out all over the harbor.”
Frank remembered a great deal of what took place that day, even as he aged and his memory began to fail him. The memories of Pearl Harbor would never leave him, even up until the end.
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