Category Archives: Eye Witnesses to History

Show: The Rescuers

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We took a special tour of the San Jose Fire Museum with Captain Sean Lovens who shared the history of fire fighting in San Jose - from the days when firemen were known as "house wreckers" (because sometimes their only option was to pull a burning house down and save the rest of the town) to the human and horse drawn steamers and finally to modern fire engines. Many of San Jose's historic fire trucks are in the museum including one used in the 1906 earthquake.

This was a great back drop for our featured stories of 3 local heroes, a helicopter pilot from Cal Fire who's seen more than his share of action and a number of blazes, a pilot who saved 155 lives when he miraculously landed his jet airliner on the Hudson River, and a fire captain who's search and rescue partner will melt your heart.

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Profile: Tom Humann

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Thomas Humann is a former Marine Corps helicopter pilot. After flying some dangerous missions in the Middle East, Humann left the Marines and became the pilot for Marine One, the helicopter that flies the President of the United States. Today, Humann is among an elite group of aviators who fly for CAL FIRE, battling blazes, fighting fires and protecting life and property.

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Bay Area Veterans Remember Pearl Harbor

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The Imperial Japanese Navy struck without warning on December 7, 1941, leaving 3700 casualties in their wake. It was a terrible, devastating day.

This is Us interviewed a dozen Bay Area veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack. They told remarkable stories. The men revealed how they came to be at Pearl Harbor that day, their experience in the battle and how and why they survived. They tell of Japanese aircraft flying so close, they could see the rivets on the plane and the glint of a pilot's teeth, of diving into flaming, oil covered waters, narrow escapes, lucky breaks and last minute changes that removed them from harm's way.

Here is our full length Pearl Harbor Special.

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Pearl Harbor Remembrance Special

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December 7, 2011, marks the 70th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, an unprecedented event that drew the United States into World War II. There are less than 1,400 veterans of that battle still living. Most are more than 90 years old.

This is Us spoke to a dozen local Pearl Harbor Survivors, who recounted how their lives were changed forever on the morning of December 7, 1941 when the sea turned to flame, ships were sunk and friends were lost. Old men who were once young warriors recall "a date which will live in infamy" in this clip from our Pearl Harbor Special. You can see the whole program on KQED Plus (Comcast 10) December 7 at 7pm.