Joining the U.S. Navy exactly one year to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Don Lovitt knew he wanted to serve his country. In fact, Lovitt was on board the U.S.S. Saratoga out in the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked. They returned to Pearl three days later.
"We went into the bay and the big battleships were laying on the bottom," said Lovitt. "The Arizona...oil was still coming up from the Arizona and it was a terrible, terrible sight."
Lovitt served as a radioman on board a dive bomber. He was eventually transferred to the U.S.S. Yorktown and witnessed the Battle of Midway.
"We sent out 42 torpedo planes and 41 were shot down. We lost all of them without a torpedo hit. The Japanese thought they were really victorious in doing all that. So they were refueling and putting on more bombs when our dive bombers hit them. They had a field day."
Many feel the Battle of Midway was a turning point in the war.
"Us veterans knew it was the battle we had to win. The Japanese would have been supreme over the seas. They could have easily taken Hawaii and attacked the U.S. Mainland."