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A man believed to be the last surviving veteran to see the attack on Wheeler Army Airfield at Pearl Harbor died last week in Florida, according to Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer.

John Seelie, of Englewood, Fla., died of cancer, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He was 94.

Seelie was 18 and had just reported for duty when Japanese planes started bombing the airstrip.

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“They were 75 feet off the ground. You could see the Japanese pilots’ faces clearly,” he told an interviewer. “We grabbed our M-1 rifles and our redesigned steel helmets we had just been issued, a couple of .30-caliber machine guns and ran outside … . We started firing at the planes. Whether we knocked an enemy plane down, nobody knows.”

Dayton Daily News |