Ira Schab’s daughter started a GoFundMe to help her pop, a 101-year-old Navy veteran, return to Pearl Harbor, where he bravely assisted in fending off Japan’s surprise attack 80 years ago.
Early Saturday, Kimberlee Heinrich’s GoFundMe page had raised nearly $9,000 of her $10,000 target.
“Lacking organizations with bigger pockets, I can’t afford to get my Pop over there,” Heinrichs writes on the GoFundMe page. “This fundraiser will cover flights, hotel, car, food for Ike and two-family caregivers to keep him safe and be honored at the Pearl Harbor Anniversary ceremonies.”
According to Hawaii News Now, Ira “Ike” Schab was a U.S. Navy musician assigned to the destroyer USS Dobbin on the calm Sunday morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
When Japanese planes attacked Battleship Row, Schab was only 21 years old and was on his way to see his brother.
“It’s hard to say the feeling that runs through your mind. You’re scared. You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Schab said.
Schab assisted in loading his ship’s anti-aircraft guns during the attacks.
“When I realized we were under attack I got busy doing what I was told, passing ammunition and getting that sort of stuff done,” he said.
Heinrichs said her father has become more candid about his Pearl Harbor experience as he has gotten older.
“You know it was a significant thing,” she told Hawaii News Now. “He was pulling bodies out of the water because frankly, everybody was pulling bodies out of the water.”
Schab is the lone surviving member of Navy Band 13. He resides in Aloha, Oregon, with his daughter. He wanted to return to represent his unit at the 80th anniversary of the attack.
“Eighty years is a long, long time, and I’m still here,” he said.
Schab will be one of around 40 Pearl Harbor survivors at the Dec. 7 event at Kilo Pier, NY Post reported, thanks to the generosity of strangers.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” Schab said, adding, “It was very generous and unexpected and very kind, and I am forever grateful.”