Michigan's Last Pearl Harbor survivor and Midland native, Don Bloomfield shares his story
MIDLAND, Mich. - Some would call 96-year-Old Midland native Don Bloomfield special.
“The only thing they told me was I was the last survivor and that was the end of it," said Bloomfield.
He’s the last living Michigan born Pearl Harbor survivor.
“I understand there are three others in the state, but they aren’t native Michiganders," said Bloomfield.
At his age, this veteran doesn’t hold on to much except the war stories that he keeps packed away until someone asks.
“I mean this was complete devastation you can’t describe what the mess was,” said Bloomfield.
His memories of the Pearl Harbor attacks as vivid as the scene he describes that fateful morning.
“There was a plane that came down just above the tree and when he went by just a plain as could be," said Bloomfield.
At 19 years old, Don was stationed in Hawaii as a fire truck driver.
“Without a fire truck believe it or not that’s what I was," said Bloomfield
So he did any and everything from for soup to nuts.
On December 7th, 1941 his duty was to move sandbags.
“When we came back to get another load there was a flat top loaded with bodies," said Bloomfield.
Grim memories that should never be forgotten.
“I think the only reason you shouldn’t forget it is because you might get caught in a situation like that again from North Korea to Russia they might try to pull one of them deals," said Bloomfield.
After leaving Hawaii, Don went to flight school and served in France where he earned not one but two purple hearts.
After that, he married the love of his life Jeanette. They were together for more than 60 years until she passed in 2013. Don also worked at Dow in Midland for nearly 40 years before retiring.
Now he likes to relax unless he’s being honored.
Last year the governor paid tribute to Don on the house floor in Lansing. Don also attended a Lion’s game where he was recognized during halftime.
“I had a nice dinner and watched the Lions win a game for a change," said Bloomfield.