Pearl Harbor: Bob Magee, a Utica native, featured in U.S.S. Arizona display

A total of 77 years ago Friday marks the brutal surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Posted: Dec. 7, 2018 2:14 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- A total of 77 years ago Friday marks the brutal surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The ceremony that marks the historic day will the first that none of the survivors of the U.S.S. Arizona will be in attendance.

The handful who survived the battleship's bombing on December 7, 1941 are all in their 90s. Last year, just three of the five remaining members of the U.S.S. Arizona were able to attend the ceremony.

Friday, at the Oneida County History Center there were materials from Bob Magee, who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.

He was a Utica native who joined the navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. On December 7, 1941 he was on the ship when it was attacked.

The explosion killed 1,100 of the 1,500 serving there, and Magee's body was never recovered.

His family, who endured tragedy earlier that year with the drowning of his brother, had something else to hold on to after Bob returned home that summer.

“When Bob came back to Utica for his brother's funeral in June of 1941, he left his U.S.S. Arizona cruise book with his father. That cruise book is now a part of the collection of the Oneida County History Center 21,” said Oneida County History Center’s Bob Howard.

The family donated Magee's cruise album, a kind of diary from travels of the crew of the battleship. It's extremely rare, there is only one other in existence that is known that belongs to someone who served on the Arizona at the time of the attack.

There's a dedication Friday afternoon for the unveiling of a monument for Bob Magee.

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