Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY/WDAZ News) – As we get closer to the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, family of Jake and John Anderson in Fargo-Moorhead are taking time to remember their loved ones and their sacrifices.
Both brothers were on the USS Arizona when Pearl Harbor was attacked, one would survive, the other would not.
Soon, they will be on the Arizona “together again.”
It was a quiet Sunday in Hawaii, that December 7th in 1941.
“Jake was down below eating breakfast, and John was on the deck setting up chairs for a church service,” said Keith Anderson, Nephew of John and Jake.
When the Japanese attacked the USS Arizona, the Anderson brothers of Dilworth…
“They were the only set of identical twins on there,” said Anderson.
Went to their duty stations, Jake an anti-aircraft gun, John a Manning Turret Gun 4.
“Jake was trying to get to his guns and he was hit by machine gun fire on the deck,” said Anderson.
When the smoke cleared, Jake was dead, twin brother John, injured and burned, rescued others hurting.
“John said on top of the deck there were so many men blown to pieces, it was like a blood bath and pieces everywhere,” said Anderson.
Then another blast and John would fight to survive amid the chaos.
“The second wave came in and machine gunned his boat everyone died except John and he still swam back through burning water to shore where he spent the night,” said Anderson.
John Anderson would stay in the Navy, and then get into Radio and TV.
Often speaking to students and vets groups about Pearl Harbor.
John died in 2015, his remains cremated and in a few days, family from Fargo-Moorhead, will witness the ultimate honor.
“It is a privilege for me to help honor John’s service,” said Anderson.
At Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7th, John will be reunited with his twin brother, whose remains are still in the USS Arizona, the gun John stood behind, his final resting spot.
“And the Navy SEAL team will go underwater with a cutting torch and while everyone is standing and watching and they will cut a hole an intern the ashes and number it so they know who is who,” said Anderson.
For family; a time to grieve, honor and remember the two boys who left Dilworth for battle,
John’s nephew Keith Anderson of Fargo has been out to Pearl Harbor to see the Arizona, where a thousand men still remain.
“A lot of men, never got a chance at life,” said Anderson, “Means a whole legacy for our freedom and nice to know our family did its part to keep our country strong.”
75-years later, are together again, back in the Pacific, back on the ship.
“There, he will never be forgotten,” said Anderson.
Over 11,000 died in the attacks and of the 319 who survived, just five remain.