MARGATE (CBSMiami) – Retired Air Force sergeant Joseph Iscovitz was 25 years old and stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese suddenly attacked 75 years ago on December 7th.READ MORE: Situation At Matheson Hammock Park In Miami-Dade Heats Up
“I was at Pearl Harbor,” said Iscovitz. “They bombed us.”
Now 100 years old, Sgt. Iscovitz’s son Doug helps tell his story of that deadly day that dragged the U.S. into World War II.
“He was sitting in a tent when all of a sudden planes were flying overhead and when he ran outside they were Japanese planes and he could actually see the faces of the pilots,” said Doug Iscovitz, son of Joseph.
“He was actually watching the bombs dropped on the ships,” said Doug. “And then of course, the Arizona exploded, a big fireball in the air. They issued guns to the soldiers. My dad was given a submachine gun. They had foxholes.”
“I didn’t think I was gonna survive,” Joseph added.READ MORE: FEMA-Funded South Florida Sites To Administer First Doses Of Pfizer Vaccines
It was an ordeal that remained fresh in the minds and hearts of the soldiers stationed at Pearl Harbor for the rest of their lives.
“Everyone was scared. Many times he told me that,” said Doug. “He didn’t really wanna talk about the attack because it was such a frightening experience. But everyone was scared.”
A few days after the attack Sgt. Iscovitz was part of a group that put barbed wire along Waikiki Beach to protect against attacks by sea.
Sgt. Iscovitz went on to serve in the military for 24 years, a huge source of pride for him and his family.
Doug accompanied his father back to Pearl Harbor 15 years ago, where the sergeant wore his pearl harbor survivor hat and shirt.MORE NEWS: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
“We went out on the launch to go to the Arizona Memorial, the Navy enlisted men all had the passengers step back and allowed my father and I not only to come on first, but they saluted my dad out of respect,” said Doug. “My dad was a tech sergeant and considers himself no hero. He just happened to be at Pearl Harbor during the attack. His feelings are that the men who did not come back are the real heroes.”