Alexander Horanzy enlisted in the Army at 17-years-old, fought to protect the country during WWII.
Horanzy was stationed with the 24th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks on December 7, 1941, when Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor.
Horanzy was loading trucks with ammunition, in case the base needed to be defended from ground troops, when low-flying enemy planes made them run for cover.
His division responded to the attack, shooting down five Japanese planes and becoming the first U.S. Army soldiers to engage with the Japanese in World War II.
Horanzy found a Japanese flag in one of those downed planes and kept it as a souvenir.
As the war continued, he went on to fight in New Guinea.
He was awarded the American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star and the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with two Bronze Stars. In addition, he received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement.
After World War II, Horanzy worked for the Department of Defense at the Frankford Arsenal, and he talked to school groups and others about his experiences in the war.
Horanzy was a founding member and president of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell Chapter of Pearl Harbor Survivors, and he was the chapter’s last living member.
Horanzy died October 1, 2020 of heart failure in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania at the age of 98.
Information compiled from several sources.