Eight Pearl Harbor survivors will be honored at Indianapolis 500

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4 Fast Facts

  • The bombing at Pearl harbor occurred 75 years ago.
  • Eight survivors from Indiana will be honored at the race on Sunday.
  • They will be honored with a pre-race ceremony and video at 11:45 a.m.
  • ┬áThe attack on Pearl Harbor was turning point for Indy 500; the race stopped for 5 years due to U.S. entry into WWII.

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 27, 2016 — Seventy-five years after surviving one of the most terrifying attacks on American citizens, eight survivors of the Japanese bombing on Pearl Harbor will be honored during pre-race ceremonies for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The survivors are all from Indiana, and they will be honored at 11:45 a.m. with a pre-race ceremony and video commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack.

“We are so very honored and humbled to have eight Hoosier heroes from Pearl Harbor joining us on their special anniversary,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Indianapolis 500 weekend has always stood as a celebration of our servicemen and women and the chance to applaud these tremendous individuals will be one of the most unforgettable moments of the 100th Running.”

The trip to the 100th Indianapolis 500 and special ceremonies honoring these American heroes was organized in coordination with Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Inc.

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese air forces on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, was also a key turning point in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500.

The win at the 29th Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1941, by co-drivers Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose, in the No. 16 Noc-Out Hose Clamp Wetteroth/Offy, would prove to be the last race for five years, due to America’s entry into World War II after Pearl Harbor.

The IMS facilities – track, garages and grandstands – deteriorated quickly during the war. Anton “Tony” Hulman saved the facility from extinction when he purchased it in November 1945, and spearheaded the herculean effort to have it ready for the 30th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1946.

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