Quote of the Month

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”

— Phyllis Diller-




As part of the official Annual Resident's Meeting and the meeting following, these officers were elected.

President -
Sandy Baumstark (60)

Vice Presidant-
James Genso
(57)

Treasurer-
Suzanne Dallas (207)

Secretary-
Barb Nienkark
(192)

Member at Large (1 year) -
Rhonda Smaldino (155)

Member at Large (2 year) -
Bonnie Harrison (40)

Member at Large (1year) -
Beth Chartrand 64)(155)





































This website is being maintained
in memory of Tom Hennessy who
made the site possible

pictues of the grand canyon are provided by pastor Mark Friedrich of Mountain View Lutheran Church

 

DECEMBER














DAY OF INFAMY

By Bob Mayo

Shortly we Americans will observe the 67th anniversary of a December morning in 1941 when forces of the Japanese empire attacked the military installations of the United States at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. That date, December 7th 1941, was rightly described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a day that will live in infamy.” With the passage of time many have forgotten the horrors of that quiet Sunday morning, but there are those who will never forget that time. One of an ever-dwindling number of those that were there that day is Larry Lepic who has lived here at Desert Harbor during the winter months with his wife Marge since 1998. Larry was born December 19th, 1920, in Mauston WI, the youngest of 5 boys. The family lived on a farm near Mauston until 1929 when the family moved to Chicago, IL, just in time to face the great depression that began in the fall of that year. Despite the difficult years Larry managed to eventually graduate from trade school. He then worked at a full-time job while attempting to also attend college, which was less than ideal. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Chanute Field, IL in May of 1939, hoping to benefit from the schooling and experi.ence it offered. After the usual fits and starts most military veterans would recognize, Larry was trained as a Machinist and as an Aircraft and Engine mechanic. Following training he was selected for assignment to Hawaii. While traveling across country for transport to Hawaii Larry had his first look at Apache Junction. In his words it “had one hand pump gasoline sta.tion that also sold sandwiches.” Upon arrival in Hawaii, Larry was assigned to the 18th Pur.suit Group as an Aircraft Crew Chief, and later assigned to the Hawaiian Air Depot assem.bling B-17 engines. On the morning of December 7th after a Saturday night on the town Larry like many others was awakened by the sound of bombs going off. Like others he and his buddies believed it was a US Navy training exercise but very soon realized that Pearl Harbor was actually under attack and over the radio heard that all military personnel were to report to their units. Larry and one of his buddies could see that the large hangers at the Air Dept where they worked had been completely destroyed so they chose to drive another buddy to his unit at Schofield Barracks next door to Wheeler Field in a 1936 Terreplane station wagon. (continued on next page) This is a re-print of an article from December 2008 written by resident Bob Mayo about former resident Larry Lepic who was at Pearl Harbor that day. 2 (continued from previous page) While trying to get to Schofield Barracks they were forced to jump out of the car and take cover under the car and in a ditch to escape a strafing attack by Japanese planes. When they were able to continue on, they were pulled over by a motorcycle policeman who di.rected them to follow him to the Queen’s Hospital. There, the rear seats were pulled out and replaced with stretchers, a Red Cross Flag was put on the station wagon and they were instructed to go pick up casualties. On their first return to the hospital in Larry‘s words, “The doctor chewed us out and said, ‘Bring me some live ones‘. The poor guy was gut shot and didn’t have a chance. We must have looked pretty green as the doctor gave us each a shot of whiskey. More trips, more whiskey, and pretty soon we were throwing them into the station wagon.” Larry has written an unpublished autobiography which includes much more sometimes graphic information about that morning at Pearl Harbor, but which is much too long to be included here. Larry went on to become an officer in the Army Air Corps, later the U.S. Air Force. He pi.loted many types of multiengine aircraft including the B-29, B-47 and B-52, finally retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1965. He worked a number of jobs before becoming the man.ager of Bellingham Municipal Airport in Bellingham, WA in 1970. Larry was also active in the Veteran of Foreign Wars, serving as Post Commander and late as the District 15 Commander. He worked at Bellingham until finally ending his working career in 1981. While Larry is certainly not the only survivor of that day at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and in fact there may even be others here at Desert Harbor, he is representative of all those who survived as well as those who did not. His memories of that day provide us with a very personal insight into that terrible event in our history. His memories amply demonstrate why vigilance is a virtue and that the experiences and sacrifices of all our military personnel and their families, past and present, must never be forgotten.