Archie Gregory has spent four decades visiting schools, riding in parades and speaking at functions to deliver one basic message: that he is not a hero. Not now, not ever.
In his mind, he wasn't a hero when the bombs first struck at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Gregory, a sailor in the Navy who was serving on a repair ship, had stepped onto another vessel to visit an old school friend the moment the explosions began.
The force threw him into the water and gave him a concussion that left a permanent scar. But he doesn't attribute his survival to heroism, just luck.
The next several days, he maneuvered a small boat around the harbor to rescue survivors and fish out bodies. He then served in the Pacific campaign for the rest of the war and was a chief boatswain's mate at the time of his discharge.
But he doesn't call all that heroism, just doing his job.