Pearl Harbor Survivor tells his story.

77 years ago today Japanese bombers launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

We spoke with a survivor of the attack who remembers waking up to the sound of airplanes and bombs.

Vern Hodsdon told us so many stories we can't fit them all in this story. He was stationed in some barracks above Wheeler Field and remembers clearly the attack which forced America into World War 2.

Hodsdon says he had just got off patrol duty when he heard a large explosion and to this day he says when he saw the first Japanese plane he knew it meant war.
"I saw a Japanese plane, he wasn't about 50 feet above our barracks and he looked out of his cockpit it had the cowling pushed back and he looked down and saw me and tipped the wings and waved at me. They were on their way to Wheeler Field right below us."

They weren't expecting an air raid, instead patrols were instructed to be on the watch for enemies on the ground.
"We were looking for sabotage they weren't dreaming of the Japanese bombing us. We were putting patrols on the bridges and all important installations, we thought the only thing would be sabotage. Because of all the Japanese on the island who weren't citizens also."

Hodsdon described the moments after the first explosion as surprisingly calm even though he knew what was happening, not everyone did.
"I said they're here! I mean we knew it was coming, the plain soldiers said it's going to happen. When it was going on, when it first started everyone ran out into the quadrangle and there was a colonel up on headquarters and he was hollering "don't shoot boys don't shoot, mock maneuvers!" They thought it was mock maneuvers, but when the bullets started flying, real bullets they disappeared."

Hodson says although their barracks did get hit by machine gun fire no one in his company was injured. He also told me he saw firsthand the only two american fighter planes which got into the air, he remembers watching one of those planes gun down a Japanese bomber.

Hodsdon fought in the Pacific theater until near the end of the war. Back in North Central Florida he drove a bread truck for a living and started a family. He has been married now for 32 years.