Pearl Harbor Survivor Offers Forget-Me-Nots, Flags on Main Street

Pearl Harbor survivor Mel Heckman. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Pearl Harbor survivor Mel Heckman. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Among those on Sheridan's Main Street on Rodeo Parade day was Mel Heckman, a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor.

Heckman had a special reason to be there.

Heckman said his table also was set up in memory of a good friend, another veteran named Roger Haley, who died earlier this year.

Heckman, who's a self-described Pennsylvania farm boy, said he was on fire duty on Dec. 7, 1941, when a Japanese plane dropped a bomb on the only hangar on Ford Island, where he was stationed, that stored fuel and ammunition.

In an earlier interview with Sheridan Media, Heckman said he hopped on a fire truck with others to put out the fire. Shrapnel blew the truck's suction valve, so Heckman and the others headed to the other side of the island, ending up alongside the water where the Arizona was moored.

At that moment, Heckman said in the earlier interview, a bomb hit the main deck of the battleship, and the ship exploded. He and the other men with him helped pull men from the Arizona out of the water.

Heckman, now in his 90s, has lived in Wyoming for more than 50 years, ranching for many of those years in Buffalo before moving to Sheridan.

View another photo below.

view counter
Heckman visits with a small crowd that's gathered around his table. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Heckman visits with a small crowd that's gathered around his table. (Photo by Pat Blair)
SheridanWyoming.com

Send us a News Tip!

Have a news tip?
Use our anonymous form to let us know.