(USA Today) Raymond Haerry ran away from home to join the Navy and landed in the middle of history.
Haerry was barely 18 when he enlisted in early 1940. He had enrolled at MIT after finishing high school in New Jersey, but he didn’t like his classes and finally dropped out. In September 1940, he joined the USS Arizona as its crew prepared the mighty battleship for war.
On Dec. 7, 1941, he was aboard the Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, launching America's entry into World War II and forever changing the course of modern history.
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The explosions blew Haerry off the ship, into the water, but he survived. He made a career in the Navy, sailing the seas during World War II and the Korean War, teaching officer candidates on land in the years after.