Local Pearl Harbor survivor recounts attack on 75th anniversary

George Kondas was Navy sailor
Posted at 6:45 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 18:45:14-05

Wednesday marks 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that launched America into World War Two. Few who were there are still alive. But one survivor who calls Tampa Bay home remembers the attack like it was yesterday.

"Our general quarters alarm went off. I thought, 'What in the hell are they doing sounding the alarms on a Sunday morning?'" said Pearl Harbor survivor and veteran, George Kondas.

George Kondas would soon get a front row seat to history. It was December 7, 1941, and America was under attack.

"All hell broke loose. I mean, they came from every direction," said Kondas.

Kondas was a young Navy sailor. As planes bombarded Pearl Harbor, he watched shipmates die.

"It seems to be implanted in your mind. Even though I'm 95 years old, I can still remember every detail of the attack," said Kondas.

After managing to survive that nightmare, he stayed in the Navy through the end of the war, then got married, and started a family. But his battles in life weren't over.

"I'm a two-time cancer survivor," Kondas said.

While some memories of war, and cancer, are painful, he wants to keep sharing them, along with a dose of encouragement, to those still fighting the disease.

"It's beatable and survivable. I'm a very true living example of it...Don't give up on it," said Kondas.

It's a a hero's inspiration, that like the attack 75 years ago, he hopes we never forget.