Return to Pearl Harbor: Meet Mark Schaitel - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Return to Pearl Harbor: Meet Mark Schaitel


Sparta, WI (WXOW) 21 Wisconsin veterans who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor are headed back on a once in a lifetime honor flight.

Among them is 89-year old Sparta native Mark Schaitel.

Mark was on board the USS Boggs and was just about to enter the harbor when the attack began. Mark says the Japanese pilots flew so low he could see the smiles on their faces. Mark and his shipmates watched as the Japanese bombs sunk the USS Arizona, Utah, and other ships. He describes the scene as total chaos.

But the one moment that remains crystal clear in mark's mind is how his commanding officer reacted to the attack. "His name was Bill Oliver. He was an academy graduate. He was the 2nd officer. He was very dedicated and very much on the ball. Through all the excitement and everything that was going on he snapped. And; the crewmen had to put him in a straight jacket. He just lost it."

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