Proctor Veteran Shares Memories of Pearl Harbor

The 97-year-old was part of the naval reserve in Duluth on the USS Paducah

A World War II veteran from Proctor still remembers the tension our country faced 75 years ago.

Wayne Hoffman, 97, was just in high school when Pearl Harbor was attacked. As a teenager, he was part of the naval reserve in Duluth on the USS Paducah at Park Point.

Hoffman was working as a railroad conductor in Hibbing on the day of the attack…

Shortly after, he and six friends drove down to Texas and enlisted in the military.

“America was fighting for its life actually,” said Hoffman. In 1943, Hoffman was drafted into the Navy and served aboard the LST (landing ship, tank) 244 in the South Pacific.

He says there were many tough times during the war, but cherishes the moments he was able to serve alongside his cousins who were killed in combat.

Hoffman still plays the bugle as part of the Duluth Honor Guard.

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