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Apr 8, 2013 4:09 PM by Tania Shofron

Tucson vet who fought in Pearl Harbor awarded last medal of its kind

TUCSON - Distinguished military honors Monday for a 91-year-old Tucson veteran, which were a long time coming.

U.S. Navy veteran, Clarence W. Ellquist was a 19-year-old Gunner's Mate 3rd Class assigned to the USS Preble when Japanese airplanes attacked the American fleet in 1941. Ellquist witnessed the attack from the shore, then volunteered to help fight fires on ships that had been attacked and to reload weapons on ships that were not damaged.

Monday, Elquist was presented the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal. It was the very last medal of its kind that the Navy had to distribute. He was also presented with eight other medals to which he was entitled but never received.

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber presented the medals to Elquist. "It is a privilege for me to have the opportunity to honor a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor whose bravery has been overlooked for more than 71 years. Mr. Ellquist's heroism on that famous ‘day of infamy' is no less impressive today than it was on Dec. 7, 1941."

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