PENSACOLA, Fla. — One of the last Pearl Harbor survivors, Frank Emond, has died at age 104, former Pensacola Civic Band music director Don Snowden announced Tuesday.
Chief Warrant Officer Frank Emond was one of the last surviving servicemen to have witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Last May, Emond celebrated his 104th birthday at NAS Pensacola, where he was honored by the friends of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
Emond spent 30 years in the Navy and he was also a musician. He came to NAS Pensacola in the early 1960’s as a Chief Warrant Officer.
Emond was just 22 years old when he was aboard the U.S.S Pennsylvania on Dec. 7, 1941.
From Don Snowden:
I am sad to report that our 104-year-old Pearl Harbor Survivor, CWO Frank Emond, has passed on to heaven. I first met Frank when we took 6 “Pearls” to Pearl Harbor in 2011. Although Frank was quiet and humble, he was a tremendously strong man who loved music. In the Navy, he started out as a French horn player in 1938, and after 7 years (and Pearl Harbor), he became a Navy Band Leader, with the famed San Diego Navy Band as one of his units. He was a Dean at the Navy School of Music and retired here in Pensacola in 1968. When I found out he was a conductor, I asked him if he would like to conduct the Pensacola Civic Band in a concert. He jumped at the opportunity. When he came off the podium at that first rehearsal, he said that was the first time he had conducted a band in 43 years! That began an odyssey that saw him conduct the Civic Band many times, the Gulf Coast Symphony, and twice, the US Air Force Airmen of Note (just this past November in DC). The Civic Band sponsored him and nominated him as the World’s Oldest Conductor with the Guinness World Records, which he was honored with three years ago.
Frank, we will miss you but never forget you. Rest in Peace, sir