Pearl Harbor: The Day After, 71 Years Ago

This report-it-as-I-see-it article never appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.  Too upsetting.  And it is upsetting, even 71 years later.  Amazing, and wonderful that the young reporter would still be here (and working) to see it in print.  Not only does she write directly for an unusual audience — women!– she pulls no punches in her descriptions.

For seven ghastly, confused days, we have been at war. To the women of Hawaii, it has meant a total disruption of home life, a sudden acclimation to blackout nights, terrifying rumors, fear of the unknown as planes drone overhead and lorries shriek through the streets.

The seven days may stretch to seven years, and the women of Hawaii will have to accept a new routine of living. It is time, now, after the initial confusion and terror have subsided, to sum up the events of the past week, to make plans for the future.

…from the neighborhood called Punchbowl, I saw a formation of black planes diving straight into the ocean off Pearl Harbor. The blue sky was punctured with anti-aircraft smoke puffs. Suddenly, there was a sharp whistling sound, almost over my shoulder, and below, down on School Street. I saw a rooftop fly into the air like a pasteboard movie set.

For the first time, I felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months. It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you. It’s the helplessness and terror of sudden visions of a ripping sensation in your back, shrapnel coursing through your chest, total blackness, maybe death..

See All at Washington Post


Civilian Casualties at Pearl Harbor

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