Pearl Harbor veteran Earl Bangert, 95, of Frontenac, helps show off his patriotic Quilt of Honor from the Little Balkans Quilt Guild in Pittsburg. Bangert served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring in 1960. Making the presentation were Sooki Fields, the quilt maker; and her husband, Larry Fields (right). GLOBE | KIMBERLY BARKER FRONTENAC, Kan. — Earl Bangert, of Frontenac, was one of the survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
To let him know that his service has not been forgotten, the 95-year-old Navy veteran this week received a handmade Quilt of Honor.
The red, white and blue quilt was presented to Bangert on Tuesday at his home in Oakview Estates in Frontenac, where he was surrounded by fellow residents, friends and veterans. Members of the American Legion Post 43 stood in line and told him it was an honor to shake his hand.
Bangert, who remained humbled by it all, said that he didn’t think he deserved it.
“I’m just flabbergasted,” Bangert said. “I certainly appreciate all that you’ve done. You’re all heroes.” 00:00 00:00 space play / pause
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The quilt was created by Sooki Fields, a member of the Little Balkans Quilt Guild in Pittsburg. Fields said the group works to make the quilts for area veterans and they distributed about 30 last year. Once she heard about Earl from her husband, Larry Fields, she wanted to do her part in thanking him for his service.“He’s a true American hero, and he’s right here with us,” Larry Fields said as they presented the quilt. “We are so pleased that he’s here. He’s a quiet gentleman who doesn’t talk about it, doesn’t brag, and yet we’re very, very proud of him and proud of what he’s done. We thank him for his service.”Sooki Fields said it took her about 10 days to make the quilt, which is named “Shining Star.”“They serve our country, and it is the recognition to say thank you,” she said.Fellow veteran and friend Homer G. Cole, 93, of Pittsburg, was the ceremony coordinator. He jokingly calls Bangert his “adoptive father,” and the two have been friends for several years.“He was remarkable at Pearl Harbor because that had to be a rough deal,” Cole said. Background Bangert, who also goes by the nickname “Casey,” was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1940-1960. On the day of the attack, Bangert was assigned to a destroyer, the USS Monaghan.Only 18 at the time, Bangert was on his way to get breakfast aboard the ship when the alarm sounded that the Japanese were in the area. His ship was serving as the ready duty destroyer at the time.The ship was then approached by a Japanese submarine.The submarine fired “a fish (torpedo) at us,” Bangert said, recalling that day. “I saw […]