World War II veteran speaks at Dothan Kiwanis Club meeting

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- A national treasure was the keynote speaker at the Dothan Kiwanis Club meeting Wednesday afternoon.

97-year-old, Roger Spooner, was a First Loader on the USS Yorktown during World War II. He spoke to the Dothan Kiwanis Club on December 4, 2019. (Source: WTVY)

97-year-old, Roger Spooner, was a First Loader on the USS Yorktown during World War II.

After completing training, and celebrating his 19th birthday, Spooner said Pearl Harbor was still smoking when he and 2,500 other American soldiers arrived at the naval base in February of 1942.

The ship was later bombed and torpedoed, during the Battle of Midway, sinking on June 4th of the same year.

Spooner remembers being scared in the water waiting to be rescued.

“Ain’t no words to express what a miserable night bouncing around out there, wondering if a shark was going to pick you up,” Spooner recalled.

“I felt a trembling in the water and it was the Pensacola cruiser. I just kept my hand all along the ship as it was easing along, so I struck a line. When they come along and shook that line, it was something! They got me up and drug me up the side about 40 feet up to the deck,” Spooner said.

The anniversary of Pearl Harbor -- is Saturday, December 7th.