This weekend marks the 61st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. One Missouri veteran remembers the day and how he almost went to that Hawaii base so long ago. Bob Buell enlisted in the Army Air Corps just two months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He wanted to go to Pearl Harbor but his recruiter needed mechanics and talked him out of going to Hawaii. He told Buell there were too many mosquitoes he’d catch malaria. So, the then-young Missouri recruit would become a mechanic and eventually a tailgunner in a B-24 bomber flying missions over Europe. A dangerous job but Buell didn’t mind. One of the other 50 missions Buell flew on was over the notorious Polesti oil fields in Romania, and another mission saw a close call for him as the window surrounding his gun turret was completely taken out by flak he walked away without a scratch. Through it all, Buell saw himself as just another “Joe” sent far from Missouri to do a job, a job that ended up saving the world.
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