Many Navy sailors were off duty or asleep at Pearl Harbor just before 8 a.m. Dec. 7, 1941.
It was a Sunday morning. Buford Barber was on duty and wide awake, working as a radioman aboard the USS Helena, a light cruiser moored to a dock next to the Oglala, a mine-laying Navy ship.
Then the Japanese attacked.
"I didn't see the planes," said Buford, 89, now a Sandusky resident living at the Commons of Providence with his wife, Elizabeth. "There was an explosion and the ship kind of rocked a little bit.
"I could see a vent right outside the radio shack," he said. "You could see the fire come out."
At first, he didn't know what happened.
"But I knew it wasn't good," he said.