gelliott.jpgGeorge E. Elliott Jr., the former Army radar operator who first detected the attack on Pearl Harbor, died on Dec. 20 from complications of a stroke. He was 85.
Elliott and Pvt. Joseph L. Lockard were on duty at Kahuku Point on the northern tip of Oahu. Using a new device — radar — the soldiers were able to see 130 miles out to sea. Just after 7 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, a large blip appeared on the radar screen.
When he called headquarters to warn of aircraft approaching Pearl Harbor, Elliott was told the radar blip was actually an image of B-17s flying in from California. Within the hour, however, Japanese aircraft started bombing battleship row. The attack, which brought the United States into World War II, damaged and/or destroyed 19 ships and 188 planes. More than 2,400 military personnel and civilians died.
Elliott, who received the Distinguished Service Medal, spent 33 years working for New Jersey Bell Telephone, then retired to Port Charlotte, Fla.