HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Even though it’s been more than seven decades, there is a living link to the infamous Pearl Harbor attack here in north Alabama.
Huntsville resident Gertrude Garner is a Pearl Harbor widow, and is keeping her husband’s memory alive through a small but very historical artifact.
Mrs. Garner recently donated an army flashlight that belonged to her late husband Charles to the Huntsville Veterans Museum. Charles Garner was carrying the flashlight in his pants pocket when his barracks at Pearl Harbor was attacked December 7th, 1941. Mr. Garner passed away in 2001, and worked as a missile technician at Redstone Arsenal for many years.
The then 17 year-old serviceman survived the Pearl Harbor ambush, but witnessed five of his fellow soldiers being gunned down by Japanese planes. Garner continued to fight through the end of World War Two, despite injuries he received that day. Gertrude Garner described the special value her husband’s flashlight has, which is now on display at the museum.
“When I handle this [flashlight], I feel like I’m kind of holding his hand. He handled it so much…I just feel like he’s holding my hand.”