Do You Remember Pearl Harbor Day 1941?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced it as a "Date that will live in infamy." It was the day America was dragged into World War II.
BY: Rob Kerby
He preached in a church with a makeshift steeple — which Japanese security inspected regularly, certain it was atop the building for spying purposes — and drew crowds that came to hear his fluent Japanese spoken with a soft Atlanta, Georgia, drawl.
My mom and her sisters also annoyed police when they’d attract crowds of gawkers by doing innocent things like going roller-skating in downtown Tokyo with metal clamp-on skates mailed by relatives.
Just weeks before December 7, the family had gotten an urgent message from the U.S. Embassy to evacuate to a luxury liner the U.S. Navy had commandeered in the mid-Pacific and sent to pick up American citizens in Tokyo. They and hundreds of other Americans were near-refugees – allowed only two pieces of baggage and crammed into every spare space of the ship, which then picked up more Americans and British in Shanghai and Hong Kong – dropping them off in Australia to find their own way home.
The Still family had made it back to the U.S. and my grandfather had taken a professorship at a college in Bentonville, Arkansas, when the announcement came over the radio. Japan had launched a sneak attack against the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – as well as American and British forces in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
A Japanese task force of six aircraft carriers, the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku had launched 408 aircraft against Hawaii. The first wave targeted high-value targets — battleships and aircraft carriers, then cruisers and destroyers. Dive bombers strafed