MACHIAS, — Robert Coles was 17 years old when the Japanese bombs and torpedoes rained down on Navy ships on a peaceful Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor.

Coles, now 92, was among the youngest of the survivors of the attack. The radioman was the first to reach his destroyer’s 50-caliber machine guns. He broke open a box of ammunition and began firing at the Japanese aircraft bombing and strafing the military installation.

The Machias resident returned to Pearl Harbor on Wednesday for the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

Cole said he looked forward to being surrounded by fellow veterans. His trip was supported by the local American Legion and friends who set up an online donation site.

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