FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Tens of thousands of Southern New Englanders drive over the Braga Bridge each day. But how many of them know who the bridge is named after?
The answer: Navy Yeoman 2nd Class Charles M. Braga Jr., a 22-year-old Fall River native who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The next day the United States formally entered World War II, with President Roosevelt calling Dec. 7 “a date which will live in infamy.”
Braga, called “Charlie” by friends and family, died when a 500-pound bomb hit his ship, the USS Pennsylvania, while he was ferrying messages. Friends called him “the peacemaker.”
In the video above, 12 News reporter Ted Nesi talks with Charlie Braga’s niece as she shares her uncle’s story on the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.