Naval Aviation Museum to Honor Pearl Harbor Survivors at Discovery Event

Pearl Harbor Survivors

Pensacola, FL – Pensacola’s Pearl Harbor Survivors and local authors Billie and Robert Nicholson will be honored by the National Naval Aviation Museum and the City of Pensacola with a special program to be held at the Museum next Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 10:00 am.

The program will include tributes and presentations by Lt Gen Duane D. Thiessen, USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Museum, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, Pensacola NAS Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hoskins, USN, and WCOA 1340 Talk Radio Host Don Parker.

As part of the Museum’s Discovery Saturday series, this much anticipated event, Remembering Pearl Harbor, the Day and Its Heroes, will feature the stories and eyewitness accounts of the actual morning of the attack by Pensacola’s remaining Pearl Harbor Survivors, William Braddock, Cass Phillips, Frank Emond and Jay Carraway. Recently deceased Pearl Harbor Survivors Jim Landis and George Mills will be honored posthumously.

Selected excerpts from the Nicholson’s book, Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye, will be read by Pensacola Honor Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 628 and Venture Crew 628 together with the Pearl Harbor Survivors. “Since most of the survivors are now in their mid ’90’s, events like this one where our young people can actually meet these famous World War II heroes in person is a piece of history just by itself.”, says author Billie Nicholson. Music will be provided by Pastor Richard Long, vocalist, and “Taps” will be played by Scotty Mills.

Immediately following the program, Museum Curator Dina Linn will give a tour of the Pearl Harbor memorabilia, and both the Pearl Harbor Survivors and the authors will be available to sign books. Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye by Billie and Robert Nicholson may be purchased the day of the event in the Flight Deck Store located in the Museum. The Cubi Bar Café, also located in the Museum, will be open for lunch following the program.

Families are welcome to attend the FREE event which begins at 10:00 am at the National Naval Aviation Museum located at 1750 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola, FL 32506 at NAS Pensacola. For directions



Heroes Among Us

Heroes among us

L to R: Pearl Harbor Survivors Frank Emond, (CWO4, USN RET.) William Braddock, (Stg. Maj., USMC RET.) Jay Carraway, (ETC, USN RET.) Pearl Harbor Honor Flight co-organizer William Phillips, (Lt. Col. USAF RET.) and Pearl Harbor Survivor, Cass Phillips (LCDR USN RET.)

Heroes Among Us not fazed by rain

Members of the Pensacola Chapter 138, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association were honored at “Heroes Among Us” ceremonies, August 29, 2014. Scheduled to take place at the Veterans Memorial Park, the event was relocated to A&J Mugs store on Palafox Street because of rain.

Honorees included Frank Emond, (CWO4, USN Ret.), William Braddock, (Stg. Maj., USMC RET.) Jay Carraway, (ETC, USN RET.) and Cass Phillips (LCDR USN RET.)


heroes among us

Co-organizer of Pearl Harbor Honor Flight, Holly Shelton with Frank Emond, William Braddock and Don Snowden

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight co-organizers Holly Shelton and William Phillips, (Lt. Col. USAF RET.) introduced our National Treasures. Each survivor recounted his unique experiences during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. All nonagenarians, their memories were sharp and the store packed crowd hung on every word.

Heroes among us

Pearl Harbor Survivor, William Braddock, USMC Ret.








Heroes among us

Pearl Harbor Survivor and Pensacola Chapter 138 President Emeritus, Jay Carraway.

Heroes among us

Pearl Harbor Survivor, Jim Landis (SCPO, USN RET.) was unable to attend due to health issues. His story of December 7, 1941, as written in the book “Pearl Harbor Honor Flight: One Last Goodbye,” was shared by author Billie Nicholson.

Heroes among us

Excerpt from: “Pearl Harbor Honor flight: One Last Goodbye”, used with author’s permission

Heroes Among Us Special Guest

Heroes Among Us

Mrs. Earline Williams, child Pearl Harbor survivor

In addition to the survivors, Mrs. Earline Williams, who was a 12 year old, living with her family on Ford Island on December 7, 1941 shared her experiences that day. Their home was across from the berth of the USS Oklahoma, which was torpedoed and rolled over, trapping many sailors inside. Some of her clothing was used to cover the dead and wounded.

“What take home lesson would you like us to have from your experience,” someone in the crowd asked. “Pay attention to what is going on in the world around you and always be prepared,” responded survivor Cass Phillips.Heroes among us






heroes among usWhen asked to what they owed their resilience and long life, Frank Emond replied, “Keep you mind active, and your body, too. I paint and volunteer one day a week at the Veterans Medical Center.”


Read the Pensacola News Journal article here. If you can’t access the PNJ Archives, read it here.Heroes Among Us.

Pearl Harbor Initiative Receives Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Award

Pearl Harbor Initiative co-organizers, Holly Shelton and William F. Phillips, were honored at the Pensacola Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for their efforts to spearhead one of the most patriotic events to come out of Pensacola in many years – taking six Pearl Harbor Survivors to the 70th Commemoration Ceremony of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The Pearl Harbor Initiative organized a group of volunteers who developed a community-wide effort to raise awareness and the funds needed to make this trip possible. 

The Freedoms Foundation National Awards are

  • awarded to those who promote, through words or deeds, an understanding of responsible citizenship and its relationship to a free society
  • given in recognition of the civic achievements of Americans from all walks of life and the achievements of teachers, administrators of public, private and parochial schools in developing the interest, intellect and civic literacy of young adults
  • designed as an incentive to encourage others to emulate the deeds of recipients from all across the nation.

Pearl Harbor Initiative

Pictured: Pearl Harbor Survivors, Jim Landis, Bill Braddock, Jay Carraway; Founder and Pearl Harbor Initiative Co-organizer, Holly Shelton; Connie Brown, VP of Youth Programs, Pensacola Chapter, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge; Co-organizer, William F. Phillips, Lt Col, USAF (ret), CAPT Michael Clapsadl, USN (ret), Master of Ceremony, and Pearl Harbor Survivors, Cass Phillips and Frank Emond. Missing from our group of travelers is our recently departed, George F. Mills.

Pearl Harbor Initiative thanks the pensacola community for their love and support

Documentary Airs at Zelica Grotto Hall

Many thanks to the members of Zelica Grotto for sponsoring a spaghetti dinner and airing of our documentary, “Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye” on January 17, 2013. Over 225 members, families and friends arrived with an appetite for spaghetti and history. They were satisfied with both.

After dinner, three of our Pearl Harbor survivors, Jim Landis, Bill Braddock and Cass Phillips, were introduced. The noticeable absence of our survivor, Frank Emond, was forgiven when it was learned that he had gotten married the night before!

Liz Watkins, producer of the documentary introduced the video and presented a memorial dedication to our recently departed Pearl Harbor survivor and trip instigator, George F. Mills. We love and miss him. All of our affiliations would not exist if not for his idea to return to Pearl Harbor for “One Last Goodbye.”

Pearl Harbor Survivors Honored

Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye – The Documentary

Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye“Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye”

Starting in June of 2011 Liz Watkins, along with founder Holly Shelton and co-organizer retired Lt. Colonel Bill Phillips worked tirelessly organizing and raising funds for 6 Pensacola Fl. area Pearl Harbor survivors to return to Pearl for the 70th anniversary of the attack. After funds for the trip were raised and donations were gathered this one time initiative was able to make the dream of these heros from the “greatest generation” to say one last goodbye to their fallen comrades come true. Along with 12 support personnel Watkins Productions accompanied these WW II veterans and documented the entire trip.

Over one year in the making and more than 40 hours of video – this documentary chronicles a few of the remaining Pensacola, Florida Pearl Harbor survivors on their emotional journey to Pearl Harbor for “One Last Goodbye.”

 “Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye”

Watch these previews to get a flavor for the story.


“Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye”

Own your copy of this piece of History. Order today.

Pearl harbor one last goodbye

Pearl Harbor One Last Goodbye thanks you for your support


George F. Mills, Pearl Harbor Survivor


Pearl Harbor Survivor

George F. Mills

 George Frederick Mills, 1920-2012

George F. Mills, Pearl Harbor Survivor, 92, of Pensacola passed after a brief illness December 26, 2012 at Covenant Hospice Inpatient, W. Fla. Hospital, Pensacola, FL.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, October 3, 1920, Mills spent much of his childhood in California. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1938 through WWII’s end, made Chief, then attained the rank, Lieutenant (jg); proud until the end of his “Mustang” status.

Along with Pearl Harbor, he served In the Pacific, Philippines & Aleutian Campaigns. His post-Navy career as a Federal Civil Service Weapons Operator Manager for the Air Force saw action through the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Mills was preceded in death by parents, Verne L. Mills, Edith Perley Mills, siblings and loving wife, Veronica D. Mills. Surviving are his children; Fred Mills, Jr., Pensacola, Terry R. Mills, Centralia, WA, Diane M. Nelson, Canaseraga, N.Y., grandchildren Ramona McGill & D.J. Nelson & his beloved poodle, Ace.

He is revered and terribly missed by many special friends whose lives he changed & caregivers Holly Shelton, her husband, Don Snowden, Pearl Harbor Survivors Ch.138, P.H.I. Co-Organizer, Lt. Col. Bill Phillips, USAF, (Ret.) & volunteer crew of, the successful journey for closure Mills & five other survivors made which sprang from his wish to say “One Last Goodbye” to fallen Pearl comrades & lay the ghosts to rest at the attack’s 70th anniversary Dec., 2011;

Mills’ life will be celebrated at Barrancas National Cemetery with military honors Friday, Jan. 11th at 2 p.m. in Barrancas National Cemetery, Shelter Area – A. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Covenant Hospice, W. FL Hospital, 8383 N. Davis Hwy., 3 N., Pensacola, FL. 32514. Lewis Funeral Home of Milton is handling.

George Mills at Veterans Day Parade 2012

George Mills at Veterans Day Parade 2012

George's 92nd Birthday

George’s 92nd Birthday

Coming Soon! Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – One Last GoodBye



Pearl Harbor Honor Flight - One Last Goodbye

Seventy years ago several thousand young military men and women were enjoying a peaceful Hawaii Sunday morning. Out of the sky fell bombs and torpedoes in an attack that changed the world. We have worked with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn., Chapter 138 to document their return to that place in order to say “One Last Goodbye” and to honor their fallen friends and comrades. Get ready to read about the adventures of six nonagenarians as they relived December 7, 1941 in “Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – One Last Goodbye.” We are proud to share their story in this book.


Harry Simoneaux, Sr. Passes

Harry Simoneaux, Sr. Truly an American Hero

We sadly report that a member of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Chapter 138, Harry Simoneaux, Sr. passed away September 18th.

Thanks to his family, we can shareHarry Simoneaux, Sr. information about Harry’s life at

During his time in the Navy, he survived 26 major battles including the attack on Pearl Harbor.

During the four years of the war, Harry Simoneaux, Sr. had five ships, made Chief in four years, and earned 8 medals, one combat ribbon with two silver and three bronze stars.

pearl harbor honor flight survivors salute harry simoneaux, sr.

Pearl Harbor Survivors Honor Flight in Photos

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Adventure in Photos

Travel with us as we share the experience of six Pensacola, FL Pearl Harbor Survivors as they travel back to Pearl for the 70th commemoration of the Japanese attack on America. These are a selection of images created on this trip to capture the memories of a “dream come true.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Thanks You for Your Support

Remember Pearl Harbor – Always Be alert!

Home Again – Heroes Welcomed

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Returns Home

We departed Hawaii Friday evening, December 9th, landed Saturday morning in Dallas for a short layover and then travelled on to Pensacola arriving at 10AM. First thing we received on touch down was a fire truck “water arch” in honor of our veterans as we taxied toward the terminal. As soon as they stepped off the plane, our survivors were greeted by airport officials and Naval Air Museum volunteers. Walking down the corridor, travelers spontaneo
usly applauded. When they reached the non-restricted area, our survivors were greeted by a large group of people who came together to welcome and salute Pensacola’s own “Greatest Generation”. The group included a JROTC sabre salute, many Patriot Riders with their American flags and a Marine division from NAS, Pensacola. Family and friends waved “Welcome Home” signs and American flags. As we headed for the USO lounge, we heard the music of the Tate High School Jazz band. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, WOW, what a welcome!

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

American Airlines Pacific Flight Crew

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

American Eagle Pilots

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Our Survivors warmly welcomed

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Marine Unit, NAS Pensacola

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

George Mills and patriots

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Patriotic Flags and the younger generation

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

A Patriot Rider Welcome

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Welcome Home!

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

A Patriotic Welcome

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank Emond interviewed by WUWF radio


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jim Landis and friends

Pearl Harbor Honor flight

Braddock Family

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Will Always Remember

The contagious atmosphere of patriotism swept from person to person sharing hugs and greeting our survivors. Families, friends and local media asked the question, “How was the trip?” The answer resounded from one and all, “GREAT!” Each survivor returned to the location where he had been on the morning of December 7, 1941, honoring and remembering comrades who had fallen during that day and throughout the war.

George Mills, the originator of the idea to return to Pearl Harbor to say “One Last Goodbye” to his fallen comrades, said, “I had a dream that Holly and her dedicated team helped to make a reality. My dream came true.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Salute at Mem. Cemetery of the Pacific

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Respects at USS Missouri

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank and George said, “My ship was over there.”

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

George Mills with Initiative Founder Holly Shelton and husband Don Snowden 


Two survivors’ daughters traveled with them sharing this adventure. All had a sense of closure. We had a safe journey as we honored these heroes.

Pearl Harbro Honor Flight

Bill Braddock and daughter Carol Ann Brediger

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jay Carraway and daughter Tina Sutton 

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Jim Landis with Tex & Gloria Hill

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Frank Emond, companion Patricia Wertanen & Cass Phillips 


Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Sponsors

We have so many people to thank for their efforts to make this trip a success. A giant THANK YOU goes out to American Airlines – Air Compassion for Veterans for tickets, to POP’S Leather in Turkey for Navy flight jackets, to Naval Air Museum, Pensacola and to Pensacola International Airport, USO Dallas, Hawaii and Pensacola for their attention to details in accommodating the travel needs of our survivors; to the local businesses who provided cash and in-kind donations; to the local media for their assistance in raising awareness of this project: Mediacom, WSRE, WKRG, 1670AM, 1320AM, Fox 10 News, Channel 5 Mobile, Pensacola News Journal, Gulf Breeze News, Independent News; Santa Rosa Co. Schools system, Escambia Co. schools JROTC and many others.

Many thanks to Holly Shelton, founder for this initiative and Bill Phillips, co-organizer for their tireless efforts to make this a success; Kathy Phillips and Dick Weaver, our nurse and flight surgeon; and Dan Frisbie, Rob Carleen, Hunter and Betsy Echols, people handlers. We appreciate the efforts of Liz Watkins Productions video team (Liz, Robert Breland, Elisa Goad and David Heroux) and Billie and Robert Nicholson, still photographers, as their work will continue to compile the history of this event.

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Billie & Robert Nicholson,

Pearl Harbor Honor Flight

Watkins Productions Video Team, David Heroux, Eliza Goad, Dan Frisbie, Liz Watkins, and Robert Breland

Pearl Harbor Honor flight thanks you for your support