It was 75 years ago Wednesday that Oxnard resident Edward Waszkiewicz, then a 20-year-old fireman with the Navy, witnessed what he said sounded like the “end of the world coming.”

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Waszkiewicz looked up and saw three planes swooping down onto what was known as “Battleship Row,” a group of eight U.S. battleships in port at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, where Waszkiewicz was stationed.

“Then all hell broke loose,” Waszkiewicz said, recalling the moment the bombs dropped. “That’s when the war really started.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the U.S. involvement in World War II.

Sitting inside his home today where he lives with a caregiver, Waszkiewicz, now 95 years old, recalled some of the details of his time in the Navy.

Waszkiewicz, born in 1921, wanted to join the military at age 17 but had to wait until 1939 when he turned 18.

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