Posted: Dec 7, 2011 5:53 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Dec 7, 2011 6:00 PM
Rene Broussard was twenty and working in a nursery on Avery Island, when news hit the airwaves that Pearl Harbor was being ruthlessly bombed.
He said, "we just heard Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese. We didn't know what that was. It was the same thing with the atomic bomb; we didn't know what that was."
Broussard said it didn't take long to learn about Pearl Harbor and the significance of the attack. He signed up for the navy six months later.
"Everyone else was joining the service," he said. "I didn't want to be drafted to go in the army, so I volunteered in the navy."
He spent three and a half years working in the engine room of two ships.
"I was running a feed pump," he explained. "Taking water from a condenser back to the boiler tank to keep the ship going."
Broussard fought in seven naval battles, crossing the equator 10 times. He remembers one close call.
"It was so dark, you couldn't see if you put your hand in front of your face," he said. "We could hear an airplane coming. I called the bridge and said 'sir a washing machine charter is coming'. You could hear that plane coming like a washing machine. It almost hit us, that's how fast it was coming."
At 90 years old he said he'll never forget a second of his time defending his country.