Christopherson featured in Pearl Harbor documentary Once there were more than 50.
Today, there are just 19 members left in the South Dakota Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Each was there on the historic "day which will live in infamy" � Dec. 7, 1941 � when a Japanese surprise attack on Oahu left thousands dead and injured and catapulted the United States into World War II.
South Dakota Public Television has recorded the breathtaking stories of nine of these men for posterity in Pearl Harbor Survivors: South Dakota Stories.
A special presentation of the compelling documentary is planned on the 59th anniversary of the attack, at 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7.
The special includes the exploits of men like David Smith of Colman, who crawled up the deck of his ship as the torpedoed vessel rolled over. Then he slid down the side into the water. Darrel Christopherson of Vermillion recalls the bombing of his ship, which the crew beached on mud flats to prevent its sinking.
The hour-long documentary also explores the men's backgrounds, their military experiences and their feelings during the chaos of the Oahu attacks.