East Lyme WWII Veteran remembers Pearl Harbor

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Floyd Welch can sometimes be seen sitting in his favorite chair in the living room looking through his book of WWII photographs and maps.

“Now here we are here,” explained Welch as he looked at a map of the Pacific Ocean. “They dropped their torpedos there.”

The 97 year old East Lyme man welcomed News8 into his home to talk about what happened 77 years ago during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“I was in the shower taking a shower just ready to come out and get dressed,” said Welch.

Welch was a 20 year old electricians mate on the battleship USS Maryland. He was about to set up the PA system on the quarterdeck for church when the fire and rescue alarm sounded.

“Then on my way there they blew general quarters,” said Welch. “Well what’s going on here. Don’t usually have any of these on weekends.”

First confusion and then concern as they learned they were under attack.

“And I glanced over there and there was this ship that was tied up to us laying on its side,” said Welch.

The attacks continued.

“They were coming down there one after the other dropping their torpedoes,” said Welch.

Welch says people need to remember to keep their eyes and ears open. He says the night before the attack some young pilots practicing on their own spotted the Japanese fleet arriving to the north but that information was disregarded.

“That irritates me more than anything else,” said Welch.

He helped lay a wreath during Thursday’s ceremony below the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven. He is one of the last Pearl Harbor survivors in the state.

Floyd often shares his story with veterans groups and schools.

“Always say remember Pearl Harbor,” said Welch.

He wants to make sure everyone especially young people knows about Pearl Harbor and what happened there.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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