Union Democrat staff

T he Twain Harte Branch 172 of Sons in Retirement hosted World War II Pearl Harbor survivor Delton “Wally” Walling at its last meeting of 2017.

Walling was guest speaker at the meeting and kept the audience spellbound as he talked about the first hours of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, stated a press release. At the end of his presentation, he announced that it would be his final presentation due to ill health. His series of presentations spanned years and the entire country.

Walling was a chief signalman on Dec. 7, 1941, when he went to a 180-foot tower and noticed waves of aircraft and thought it was an early morning training maneuver.

“We look up and see that big red ball on the side of the planes, but at first it doesn’t register,” he said at the meeting. “Then we see the little black objects dropping and boom! The first bomb hits the ramp of a runway on Ford Island.” He had to stay on duty, reporting to Admiral Kimmel and was in that tower for 15 hours.

SIR Branch 172 counts five World War II veterans as members: Jerry Redfern, Dewey Main, Wayne Bolitho, Vern Krell and J.R. Raymond.

Darrell Slocum, executive director of the Sonora Area Foundation, will be guest speaker at the next meeting of the Twain Harte SIR. The meeting will begin with social time at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at noon Feb. 1 at the Sonora Elks Lodge. Cost for lunch is $15 per person.

Sons In Retirement (SIR) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation for retired men. Activities include biking, golf, hiking, horseshoes, pinochle, kayaking, technology, theater and travel.

For more information, go online to sirtwain.org.