Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Republican

Pearl Harbor vet thrown off flight to attend 72d anniversary of attack

See also

"Never to fly on the airline again..."

One of the few survivors still alive from the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor found himself one of two passengers thrown off his flight to attend the Honolulu memorial service citing the anniversary of the sneak attack, as reported by of Indianapolis, IN on Dec. 7, 2013.

To add insult to injury, the other passenger bounced was reportedly confined to a wheelchair.

Former crew member of the Destroyer USS Patterson (DD-392), 90-year-old Ewalt "Walt" Shatz had every intention of catching his flight out of Los Angeles International Airport for Honolulu to be one of the honored guests at the 72d anniversary memorial of the attack that killed or wounded almost 4,000 American servicemen and civilians.

Instead of boarding the flight he was booked on and arrived in time for, the former Blue Jacket was informed that due to "severe weather" his United Airlines flight had to take on extra fuel, which meant two passengers would have to catch a later flight.

Reportedly, a representative from United "told [Shatz] that only two customers were taken off the flight, and the only other person he saw was a man in a wheelchair."

The combat vet found himself with an 8-hour delay, and when he finally did fly to the Hawaiian Islands, his flight went instead to Maui instead of Oahu.

After that delay, Shatz did eventually make it to Honolulu in time for the commemoration, but unfortunately "he said he had not heard from United since the incident and planned never to fly on the airline again."

Boy to Man in the Course of a Sunday Morning...

On December 7, 1941, Shatz was credited by the Navy as accomplishing a fete during the attack that is normally seen only in Hollywood movies.

The 18-year-old Shatz was recognized by the Navy as personally downing one of the attacking Japanese aircraft while manning one of the Patterson's .50-caliber machine guns.

Even more amazing than achieving something very few have ever actually done in battle, Shatz shooting a warplane out of the sky on the date that lives in infamy was the first time he ever laid hands on on a .50 cal.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!