Return to Pearl Harbor: Welcome Home Cookie - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Return to Pearl Harbor: Welcome Home Cookie

Ewald "Cookie" Koch and Jessie Higa at the entrance to Hickam Field Ewald "Cookie" Koch and Jessie Higa at the entrance to Hickam Field

Hickam Field, HI (WXOW)- Ewald "Cookie" Koch barely escaped the bombing of the 32-hundred barracks on Hickam Field. Cookie returned to Hickam to tell his story to a local historian. A story she thought he had taken to his grave.

When Ewald "Cookie" Koch returned to Hickam Field, history came back to life. "We thought he had passed away." Jessie Higa runs the Hickam History Club. She thought Cookie's last name, Koch was spelled c-o-o-k. With no record of a Mr. Cook, Jessie believed Cookie had died taking his story with him. But Koch is actually spelled k-o-c-h. "So for Wisconsin to bring Cookie all the way here to me and Hickam, his home; It has been an answered prayer."

Cookie's prayers were answered here as well 70 years ago. "My bunk was right about up in here on the 2nd floor" recalled Cookie. Koch was inside getting ready for church when the first Japanese bomb struck his barracks. He came flying out the front door, across the courtyard, dodging Japanese bullets. He made his way across the street to a parking lot where he finally took cover underneath a car.

Another soldier took cover with Cookie. The young man laid between Cookie and the barracks and took the brunt of the bomb blast; shrapnel ripping through his body. "He says my foot is gone. So, I put a tourniquet on his leg until the bombing was over with and then we got him to the hospital."

Cookie was also injured, suffering 3rd degree burns on his thigh. He would spend weeks in the hospital where he tried to find the young man who he believes saved his life.

The soldier's injuries were so severe he was flown to the mainland and never returned. It wasn't until this year that Cookie learned the name of the boy who lay under the car with him. Jack Fox lost his leg but survived the war. He died in 1994.

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