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Tuesday, December 7 is 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Washington County, WI – Flags will fly at half-staff across Washington County on Tuesday, December 7 to mark the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The surprise military strike happened in the morning on Dec. 7, 1941.

The U.S. Naval base was attacked in two waves by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes; 2,403 lives were lost. The next day, Dec. 8 the U.S. declared war on Japan.

In January 2015 Washington County’s only remaining survivor of Pearl Habor, Jerry Jerome died. He was 93.

Jerry Jerome, Pearl Harbor

Jerome served in the U.S. Army from 1940 – 1945. During WWII he was with the C-Company 65th combat engineers, which was part of the 25th Infantry Division. He faithfully served his country in the Philippines and on Guadalcanal.

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On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese and Jerry Jerome was stationed that day in Hawaii at the Schofield Barracks.

Since 1991, Jerome had returned every five years to Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona.

WWII veteran John Weinberger of West Bend was also a survivor of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

In 2008, during a Veterans Day ceremony outside the Old Courthouse Square Weinberger collapsed and died later that day. He was 85.

Jerome died in January 2015. His tribute story is below.

A “humble hero,” those are the words many use to describe WWII veteran Jerry Jerome. The 93-year-old, the only remaining veteran in Washington County to have survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, died last week Thursday following a heart attack.

Jerome served in the U.S. Army from 1940 – 1945. He was in charge of the supply room at the Schofield Barracks in December 1941 when the attack occurred at Pearl Harbor. “There was a shell that came through the roof of his barracks and was embedded in the floor,” said Tom Jerome, the second youngest of six children. “The bomb never exploded, and my dad had to walk around it to get outside and start passing rifles to his comrades.”

Over the years Jerry Jerome has been part of the military fabric of the veteran’s community in Washington County. “He certainly touched a lot of lives,” commander John Kleinmaus with VFW Post 1393 said. “He was such a humble fella, such a great guy; he was an inspiration to all of us.”

Active in the VFW, Honor Guard and the local American Legion, Jerome became a familiar name in the school system in 2010 as students from Holy Angels, Badger Middle School and Slinger High School worked to raise $8,800 to send him back to Hawaii to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Allan Kieckhafer 80th

Veteran Allan Kieckhafer, 97, joined the Navy when he was 18 and fought at Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa. Kieckhafer will turn 98 on Christmas Day.

Joe Zadra

Veteran Joe Zadra, 98, who served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge

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