Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Celebrates 100th Birthday

May 22, 2018

Francis “Frank” Emond of Cantonment turned 100 on Monday, celebrating with a party at Naval Hospital Pensacola where he volunteers.

The Navy veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor greets visitors, answers the phone at the Quarterdeck and pushes patients in wheelchairs who need assistance. He has been a Red Cross volunteer for over 16 years and enjoys the interaction with patients and staff.

Originally from Rhode Island, Emond enlisted in the Navy in 1938 as a musician. He played the French horn for the ship’s band and even got to perform at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York before he was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) in Hawaii in the summer of 1941. The day before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Emond and fellow Navy musicians played at a dance and band contest. His band won the contest against other bands from the USS California (BB-44) and USS Arizona (BB-39). His band later donated the trophy they won in memory to the men from the Arizona. As the sun rose on Dec. 7, 1941, Emond was preparing for morning colors and the raising of the American flag.

That’s when Emond noticed the hundreds of Japanese planes that filled the sky followed by the sound of a torpedo striking a ship docked behind his battleship. In addition to being a musician, Emond was trained as a stretcher bearer and with the general alarm sounding amongst the sound of gunfire and explosions; he began retrieving injured and dead Sailors aboard the Pennsylvania.

Following the war, Emond remained in the Navy until he retired in 1968 in Pensacola. He is currently married and has two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His 100-year-old brother still lives in Rhode Island.

“It’s important for everyone to give something,” said Emond when asked why he still volunteers at Naval Hospital Pensacola, “and time is something that everyone can give. It’s an important gift.”

Emond is a popular volunteer at Naval Hospital Pensacola, though not everyone knows his history. He is popular for the enthusiasm he brings to the hospital and the help he provides to patients and staff.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


4 Responses to “Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Celebrates 100th Birthday”

  1. Grand Locust on May 22nd, 2018 2:02 pm

    100 years old and survived Pearl Harbor, but the best part of the story was his playing the french horn and winning the contest that Saturday night against the band from the Arizona, and giving the trophy in honor of those on the Arizona who did not make it. Greatest Generation……you bet, when citizen soldiers DEFENDED our country from real threats and drew upon every type of profession and talent to sacrifice for the country. RESPECT!.

  2. Tom G. on May 22nd, 2018 12:22 pm

    Mr. Emond is a member of “the Greatest Generation.” They lived through the Great Depression, and as that ended they had to go to war to fight the Axis powers who were intent on dominating the world. As a generation they emerged from that adversity with strong character and a solid determination to always do the right thing. Happy Birthday, Mr. Emond, and God bless you.

  3. dman on May 22nd, 2018 10:31 am

    Such an encouraging story. Why can’t this be front page on every major media outlet in the country? Mr. Emond, you’re a great American!

  4. 429SCJ on May 22nd, 2018 9:52 am

    Congratulations Sir, thank you and your comrades for such great service and sacrifice.

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