Posted For: The Jester of Genocide
The last known Pearl Harbor survivor in Nevada died in his sleep this week at the age of 99, but not before joking around with his nurses once last time.
Edward ‘Ed’ Hall died around 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center, according to his friend Greg Mannarino.
Mannarino told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he visited his longtime friend the night before he passed away, and that he was ‘full of life’ as he joked with the nurses.
Hall was in the U.S. Army Air Corps and only 18 years old when Japan launched a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor that left 2,403 Americans dead.
Hall’s longtime friend Mannarino visited him on Tuesday, the night before he passed.
‘He passed away peacefully in his sleep,’ Mannarino confirmed. ‘He joked with the nurses last night. Before I left he said “I love you.” He seemed still full of life. The doctor told me that “When we went to check on him, he was unresponsive.” I just fell over completely. He was the greatest guy, from the greatest generation. Those men were cut from a different cloth.’
Hall had told the Review-Journal in an August 2020 interview that he was saddened to hear that he was believed to be the last living Pearl Harbor survivor in the state of Nevada.
In the interview, he also said that December 7, 1941 was a day he would never forget.
‘It’ll be forgotten, just like the Civil War, or the Spanish American War,’ Hall said. ‘This country better wake up or it’s going to happen again, that nobody will pay attention to the warning signs, like that day of December 7, 1941.’
On that fateful day, the former Army private was on kitchen duty and cleaning a frying pan, he has said, when he heard what he thought was a malfunctioning air compressor.
But when he walked outside the mess hall at Hickam Field (now Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), he was met with the sights and sounds of a full-blown attack.
‘What the hell’s going on?’ he remembered yelling as fighter planes roared above him. A fellow serviceman pulled him down and shouted, ‘Do you want to die?’
‘There was shooting going on like you wouldn’t believe,’ Hall told the paper decades later. ‘I’m still amazed I didn’t get hurt.’
While they took cover, Hall said he remembers seeing an explosion that he later learned was the USS Arizona being struck, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines.
While they took cover, Hall said he remembers seeing an explosion that he later learned was the USS Arizona (pictured) being struck, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines
The USS Arizona Memorial is shown during a ceremony in 2019 mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor