By MC2 Laurie Dexter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii
Sailors from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) honored the late Pearl Harbor survivor Chief Electrician’s Mate Leo Haag by scattering his ashes in the waters near the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, JBPHH during a ceremony July 2.
Among those in attendance were Haag’s daughters, Cheryl Yocum and Nancy Haag, and other family members. Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivor liaison, provided remarks during the ceremony.
“It was Leo’s wish to return to Pearl Harbor on his final voyage after he died, so he could be with his shipmates, his brothers, who were killed that fateful morning in December of 1941,” said Taylor.
“Thanks to his loving daughters, Cheryl and Nancy, along with these wonderful family members and friends, his wish will come true.”
Military honors included a gun salute and the presentation of colors to the family by the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Honors and Ceremonial Guard.
“It’s a very deep, emotional feeling because he loved the Navy so much and Pearl Harbor was very dear to him. The whole experience helped shape his life,” said Yocum.
According to Haag, on the morning of Dec. 7, her father mistook the alarms for training.
Haag said, “He was lying in his bunk, and he thought, ‘What the heck are they doing out there?’”
“He didn’t even get his cup of coffee,” added Yocum.
Leo Haag was born Nov. 17, 1913 in Twin Bridges,
Mont. He joined the Navy in the early 1930s and was assigned to the USS Argonne during the attack. Two months after the attack, Haag was transferred to the battleship USS Indiana (BB-58)
where he served for most of the remaining years of the war.
After fulfilling his service in the Navy, Haag joined the Army and retired in 1956. During his time in the Army, he was stationed in Alaska where he was able to enjoy the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing, prospecting for gold, and growing hothouse tomatoes.
“When I think back on my father, I think about a man who lived an incredible life, and there was never a down moment for him. He was always busy, he was always active, and he was an incredible father,” said Yocum.