On December 7, 1941, sailor Lauren Bruner was on the deck of the USS Arizona when he heard the whine of a low-flying aircraft. In the minutes that followed, enemy aircraft pummeled the ship with machine gun fire and explosives. An armor-piercing “Lucky Bomb” penetrated the deck and detonated, engulfing the Arizona in a massive fireball and breaking it in two.
Bruner survived the attack on Pearl Harbor; most of his crew did not. Wounded by machine gun rounds and burned over 73% of his body, he recuperated in Navy hospitals for seven months before joining the USS Coghlan, where he served for the rest of the war.
At age 94, Bruner established the Lauren F. Bruner USS Arizona Memorial Foundation to help honor the crew of the USS Arizona through public education, support the USS Arizona Memorial, and provide assistance to military families in Hawaii. Voices of Pearl Harbor is a collaborative endeavor to preserve and share the heritage of the great Naval ships located at Pearl Harbor through the voices of its veterans and survivors, including Bruner’s personal account of the attack on Pearl Harbor.