by Sheila Hagan Hayes

Trumbull Community Women

George Ferraro just celebrated his 90th birthday. And for 60 of those years, he’s lived in Trumbull. He loves the town, has ever since he came here as a child to visit his aunt and uncle. They owned a house and property on Daniels Farm Road near Trumbull Center, at a time when it was still mainly farmland.

“Acres and acres with nothing on it but cows, horses, chickens, oh, and a barn or two,” Ferraro said. “We used to love to jump out of those haylofts! For a young boy, it was heaven.”

But all that changed on the morning of December 7, 1941. George was a teenager by then, and was enjoying breakfast with the family when his aunt glanced out the window.

“What’s going on?” she muttered, opening the door as a neighbor hurried up the steps of their porch.

“Turn on the radio!” the woman cried. “The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor!”

All across America, families were hearing that same terrible news. But in Trumbull, the news was personal: George’s cousin Arthur was serving on the SS Oklahoma, one of the first battleships hit that morning. It would be three agonizing weeks before the family learned that, miraculously, Arthur had survived.

The following year, George enlisted in the U.S. Navy, going to officer’s school and serving on the Destroyer Escort USS Griener in the Pacific.

Today, George lives not far from where his aunt and uncle’s farmhouse still stands. He loves to walk and has a stride that makes him look years younger than his age. But whenever he passes that farmhouse, he thinks of that fateful morning in December, 1941. “I’ll never forget it,” he says.

Neither will we, George. Neither will we.

This column was submitted by Trumbull Community Women as part of its “RElove Trumbull, REdiscover our town” campaign.