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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – This week we introduce you to David Feldman, who served in the U.S. Navy Air Core from 1944 to 1946.

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While serving, he had a near-death encounter with a watery grave.

A Purple Heart recipient, Feldman spent two years in the Navy as an aviation radioman 2nd class.

While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, he and his comrades were making a bombing run over a Japanese warship when the unthinkable happened.

He describes that moment with clear recollection.

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“The pilot saw a ship in the water and he went down to investigate and before we knew it, the sides of the ship opened up and they had all guns, and they shot us down and we crashed in the South China Sea. We were 13 on the plane and six got out,” Feldman said.

The six survivors were rescued after four hours in the water.

After the crash, Feldman spent nine months in a naval hospital recovering.

He was recently honored at a Florida Panthers game with his family by his side, smiling and proud

Feldman’s bright blue eyes brimming with happiness while giving a salute to his flag, the men he left behind and his country.

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David on behalf of CBS Miami and the Florida Panthers, we would like to say thank you for your service.