During the first quarter of last Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders recognized Pearl Harbor survivor Chuck Kohler.
Mr. Kohler attended the game with his son, Mike, and two of his grandchildren. During the 1st quarter of the Battle of the Bay, Kohler was recognized on the field. The crowd stood and cheered, honoring his service. Raider Nation then began to chant "USA" as Kohler saluted and waved.
Originally from West Central Minnesota, Kohler voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 3, 1941, just a few months after his 17th birthday.
After completing basic training and then additional Aviation Metalsmith training, he was sent to San Diego for further assignment and boarded the U.S.S. Lexington for transport to Hawaii.
On December 7, 1941, he was assigned to security watch and when the first bomb fell on Pearl Harbor, fragments from the explosion as well as window glass injured his head, ears, neck and shoulders. He then courageously returned fire all afternoon and survived the attack.
Kohler returned stateside in June 1943 and was then honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy on May 25, 1947.
Now 90-years-old, Mr. Kohler is an active participant in Pearl Harbor Survivor events and also gives speeches to high school classes about his experiences.
Additionally, he is involved in the beacon lighting on the top of Mt. Diablo every December 7th that commemorates the survivors and victims of the Pearl Harbor attacks.