At 103, Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Breaks His Own World Record As ‘World’s Oldest Conductor’

November 7, 2021

At 103-years old, Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Emond of Cantonment broke his own world record Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

Two years ago, he set the Guinness World Record as “World’s Oldest Conductor” as he conducted “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at the Pensacola Civic Band’s Memorial Day Concert in May 2019.

Saturday night, he led the U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note in Glenn Miller’s iconic “In the Mood” at the American Veteran Center’s “America Valor: A Salute to our Heroes” at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

Wearing a Hawaiian print shirt with a Pearl Harbor Survivor patch, Emond turned to the crowd, smiling and waving as he received a standing ovation.

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 Emond, CWO4 USN (RET.), spent his naval career as a musician and band director. He was on the stern of the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) getting ready to play morning “Colors” on his French horn when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He went into action, evacuating the dead and wounded.

After seven years of playing horn, he became a Navy bandleader, retiring in 1968. Emond continued to perform with the Pensacola Civic Band and lead music at Gonzalez United Methodist Church.

Pictured above and below: Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Emond of Cantonment breaks his own Guinness World Record Saturday night as the “World’s Oldest Conductor” at age 103. Pictured first below: Emond turned to the crowd, smiling and waving as he received a standing ovation. Images courtesy American Veterans Center for, click to enlarge.


13 Responses to “At 103, Local Pearl Harbor Survivor Breaks His Own World Record As ‘World’s Oldest Conductor’”

  1. Debra Dutton on December 7th, 2021 7:35 pm

    I had the privilege to work with Mr. Emond in the 1980’s at Fairfield Presbyterian Church. So good to see he is still going strong. He is an inspiration to all.

  2. Deborah Bradley on November 14th, 2021 2:49 pm

    Mr. Frank! You have always been an inspiration to me and now our Community band called Azalea Winds

  3. Linda Henderson on November 9th, 2021 11:57 pm

    Congratulations Mr. Emond. You have accomplished a lot in your time. Thank you for your many years of service.

  4. Rod Duren on November 9th, 2021 8:38 am

    Got to know Mr Emond in his days as Red Cross volunteer at the Navy hospital. What an interesting and amazing man. You go, Mr Frank.

  5. Susie on November 7th, 2021 6:29 pm

    Hey @JohnPowellGMG3 Thank You TOO for your service to our great USA!

  6. Bonnie Exner on November 7th, 2021 3:55 pm

    Frank Emond was fascinating speaker at the BARRINEAU PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY Christmas Gathering about 5 years ago..he shared his experiences during and after Dec 7th,1941 Pearl Harbor attack…also is added proof to my theory that those who play and enjoy music tend to live a long and happy life..GOD BLESS YOU,FRANK EMOND!

  7. Shaun on November 7th, 2021 1:04 pm

    The wisdom, the courage, the things you seen, endured and accomplishments! You dont look over 60 God has truly blessed you. The stories you could tell God bless you!

  8. Susie on November 7th, 2021 12:39 pm

    Wow! He looks great! You’d never know he was anywhere near that age. God bless you, Mr. Emon and thank you so much for your continued service!

  9. John Powell on November 7th, 2021 11:43 am

    My name is John Powell (GMG3) and I’m a combat vet of the USS Missouri (BB-63), Desert Shield & Storm. I congratulate you sir on a lifetime of accomplishments especially your Guinness World Records. Thank you for your service to our great nation and dedication to the musical world.

  10. Sam on November 7th, 2021 9:51 am

    Awesome accomplishment!

  11. Patricia Gaddis on November 7th, 2021 9:32 am

    Wonderful accomplishment! He is much more than a conductor. He is a civic leader in the community, as well. He is still building a legacy. Wow!

  12. Mel on November 7th, 2021 8:50 am

    Congratulations young man. LoL. Thank You very much for your Service.

  13. Robert R Bruner on November 7th, 2021 3:50 am

    Great Accomplishment! Congrats!

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