Milton Verberg, Pearl Harbor hero, passed away Dec. 19 in Orange. He was 98.

Milton was a real cowboy in New Mexico, hailing originally from Wisconsin. In the fall of 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, was trained as a medic in San Francisco, and chose to transfer to Pearl Harbor.

While on leave there, he was in a bus at Hickam Field and headed for Waikiki Beach. At that moment, the Dec. 7 attack at Pearl Harbor began.

In returning to Fort Shafter, he was ordered to the hospital to await the injured. He refused and returned to Hickam Field to aid the wounded there.

Later, hit in the face by shrapnel from a bomb, he was again ordered to the hospital, this time for himself. Again he refused, and stayed to help those more seriously wounded than he.

Near the end of the attack, he watched the last nine Japanese aircraft fly overhead. He could clearly see the lead pilot in the Japanese plane.

Two years later, in 1943, on duty at Waikakalaua Hospital on Oahu, Milton met Lt. Maureen Strever, a nurse. They married that May, and from that union had a daughter, Kathleen, after the war.

Decades later, at the 50th anniversary commemoration at Pearl Harbor, he met that same Japanese flight leader he had seen during the attack at Pearl Harbor. In 2016, on the 75th anniversary of the attack, a book was published detailing both of their first-person accounts of the event.

Living in Orange, Milton lost his beloved Maureen some 15 years ago, and leaves behind his daughter Kathleen. Milton Verberg was not just a survivor of Pearl Harbor, he was a hero, with a Bronze Star to prove it.Type your paragraph here.

January 2020

Milton Walter Verberg