The 19-year-old sailor was too inexperienced and too far from the battle carnage to be afraid when the Japanese attacked.
But Richard Pauls still remembers that day 72 years ago. He was aboard his ship, the USS Medusa, at Pearl Harbor when the bombs fell and torpedoes were fired, and he manned a 30-caliber machine gun as hundreds of Japanese aircraft sank American ships nearby. No bombs hit the Medusa, and most of the injuries and deaths happened more than a half-mile away, he said.
“We were concerned, but we didn’t really have any fear. The noise and seeing casualties, that’s what creates fear,” he said.