Dubuque man recalls months of uncertainty after Pearl Harbor att - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque man recalls months of uncertainty after Pearl Harbor attack

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 75 years ago today, Al Heitzman was immediately scared--his brother was stationed there.

"We were all pretty scared," Heitzman said.

His brother was stationed on the U.S.S West Virginia, one of the first to be hit during the attack.

"It was just sort of a shock, because what they were saying on the radio sounded like it was pretty serious, and we know that it was after it was all over," he said.

Heitzman and his family, like so many others, had to wait for months to hear if his brother had survived the attack.

"It was just a situation where all you could do is pray, because the news was that bad," he said.

In fact, they didn't hear back until after Easter of the next year, which was more than four months after the date of the attack.

But then they received a letter that was written almost immediately after the attack, but held back by the Navy for security reasons.

"Well it was one of joy and thanksgiving to God, that he survived," Heitzman said.

Heitzman went on to serve in the Naval Reserves.

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