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Saturday May 30th, 2015 4:42PM

Pearl Harbor survivor who wrote book about WWII dies

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - A Gainesville man who was a fixture in the city's annual Memorial Day Parade and long active in veterans organizations has died.<br /> <br /> Harvey "Mack" Abbott, 91, died Thursday at Summer's Landing. A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday at 2:00 at the First United Methodist Church in Gainesville.<br /> <br /> Abbott, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, joined the Marines when he was 17.<br /> <br /> He was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941 and over the next few years was shipped to Midway, Guadalcanal, Saipan, and Tinian, and was the security detail for the Enola Gay, the American bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. <br /> <br /> Abbott spent over 40 years in various sales and sales management positions until he retired at the age of 70. <br /> <br /> In his later years, he wrote "The First and Last Shots Fired in World War II," a book about his experiences in the war. <br /> <br /> During a Tribute to Veterans in November 2004 at First United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Abbott, recalling the attack on Pearl Harbor, remembered that he was in his bunk at the Marine barracks near Battleship Row when he heard an explosion and saw a Japanese bomber.<br /> <br /> "I went downstairs, got some ammunition, and started firing at them from the parade field." <br /> <br /> He was active in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the Pearl Harbor Survivor Memorial at the Marietta National Cemetery. Abbott served as the Honorary Grand Marshall of the 2011 Gainesville Memorial Day Parade, in which he participated regularly, and is recognized as a veteran in the Circle of Honor at the Freedom Garden at the Northeast Georgia History Center in Gainesville. <br /> <br /> (AccessNorthGa.com's Jerry Gunn contributed to this story.)
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