Mr. Frank Regina has been a resident of Juniper Village at Forest Hills since October 2016. Frank is a first-generation US citizen. His parents emigrated from Slovenia, and he was born in North Braddock, PA. Frank joined the Navy six months before he graduated from high school and served during WWII.
Frank was 18 at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and he was aboard the USS Utah, a Gunnery Training ship that was on the west side of Ford Island. As Frank explained, the ship was struck by a torpedo and tried to head back into port. The damage caused the ship to begin to list and the Senior Officer ordered the crew to abandon ship.
Frank said he survived the attack by jumping off of his ship as it was sinking and swimming to shore for safety. He described the confusion of the moment and explained how no one knew who was bombing them until they saw the Japanese emblem on the planes.
Frank married the love of his life, Peggy, while still in the Navy. After leaving the Navy, he became a steel worker, but his life’s passion is gardening. He was a member of the local Gardening Club and the Mum Society.
On December 7th 2016, Frank was interviewed by local WTAE-TV Channel 4 newscaster Mike Clark for a special segment the station was airing for the 75-Year Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Everyone at Juniper Communities is very proud of Frank and honored that he would share his memories of that horrific day.