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"Where Were Your Loved Ones During Pearl Harbor, 1941?" Topic

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Cacique Caribe07 Dec 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

On December 7, 1941 my Mom was almost out of High School in Puerto Rico. She had just spent that summer in Cuba with family.

My Dad was already stationed in the Panama Canal. He had enlisted in the US Army (in Puerto Rico) earlier that year, before he was even officially 18 years of age.

They wouldn't even meet for another 7 years.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 5:26 a.m. PST

My dad was a toolmaker at the Waco plant in Ohio. He would soon be making gliders for the airborne. He was a licensed pilot and wanted to join the air force, but they sent him back to his job. My mother--also a licensed pilot--was waiting for my dad to propose :)

jim 3907 Dec 2017 5:33 a.m. PST

My dad was a Second Class Machinist Mate on the USS US Grant, an AK (supply) ship in the Alaska area delivering supplies to bases up there. He had recently been transferred from the USS Helena CL-50 which was home ported in Pearl Harbor.

My Mon was married to her first husband who would be killed on Bougainville, in the Solomon chain.

For the nautically challenged a second class Petty officer is the equivalent of a buck (three stripe) Sargent.

Grelber07 Dec 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

My mother lived on a farm in Stafford County, Kansas. She attended a rural elementary school with seven other students. Her uncle (veteran of WWI, like her dad) would soon be a member of the Stafford County draft board.

My father lived in the city--Hutchinson, Kansas. His dad worked in restaurants, and the war gave him the opportunity to open his own restaurant on 2nd Street, serving the workers at the nearby Cessna plant.

They didn't meet until after the war, when her family moved o town.


Marianas Gamer07 Dec 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

My father in law was a 12 year old boy on Saipan. He must have just finished the Japanese school for Chamorro. He survived the battle for Saipan and went from the caves to working in one of the Naval hospitals. He helped patch up guys from Iwo and Okinawa. He worked the next 40 years as a surgical nurse. We still eat off Navy China that he was given. My favorite plate is from a 3 star's mess. I often wonder what Admiral's plate I am eating off.

Nick B07 Dec 2017 6:14 a.m. PST

Fighting Germans and Italians.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 6:38 a.m. PST

My mother and I (born July '41) were at her parents'
home while Dad was otw to Great Lakes for Navy basic.

Wackmole907 Dec 2017 6:39 a.m. PST

MY dad was in Pilots training in Texas. MY mother was working on the Farm in Ft. Collins, Cowhen news came of the attack. Her Cousin was in the Philippines servings in the US Infantry.

Fat Wally07 Dec 2017 6:49 a.m. PST

Fighting in the Western Desert, and defending British skies against the Luftwaffe.

Pizzagrenadier07 Dec 2017 6:54 a.m. PST

My great uncle was actually at Wheeler Field during the attack. His officer ordered him to get in a truck and drive around to stir up dust to hopefully obscure the ground enough to reduce Japanese visibility.

He said he didn't know if it helped, but it sure made him harder to hit…

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

My father was in the Yorkshire Hussars at that time. Somewhere in the middle east (records are contradictory as to exact location). Mother would be home with me.


GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 6:59 a.m. PST

Dad was an apprentice in the building trade. I know he was a scout and spent evenings as a runner for the local Home Guard unit from early 1940. He then joined the HG and spent 3 evenings a week crewing anti-aircraft guns in Liverpool. They wouldn't let him join any active services because he was deaf in one ear and had poor hearing in the other.

Mum was a school until late in the war when she left to become a nurse at one of the hospitals dealing with the returning units from Burma. My maternal Grandfather was travelling all over Britain building concrete emplacements before being called up to go to Italy to do the same.

Hlaven07 Dec 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

My father's youngest brother was killed at Hickam field by Pearl Harbor. He and 4 other brothers later enlisted at various times during the war.

14th NJ Vol07 Dec 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

My parents were both 14 yrs old. Dad was in the car with his
Mom & grandfather, coming home from church; drove up their driveway when a neighbor lady come running out of her house shouting that
The United States had been attacked & to run inside and turn on your radio.

Mom was home when her dad heard the radio report and told all her family.

Mobius07 Dec 2017 7:08 a.m. PST

Dec 7th my dad had just started work for a company in downtown LA where my mom was a secretary.
They met but a short time later he went into the service.
He hoped my mom would still be single once he returned three years later. She still was.

skipper John07 Dec 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

Finishing his Sr year in High School. No Summer vacation for him! Hit the beach in Old Hickory.

Ceterman07 Dec 2017 7:36 a.m. PST

Mom was in Oklahoma, having survived the dust bowl, now with her big sister, pretty much raising younger twin sisters & an even younger brother. Her mom did when she was very young. And her Father, well, not a very good person, from what we were told. She was in High School also, where she Graduated a year or so later & moved to VA to work & be closer to her big sis again. Dad was working at C&P Telephone. Soon to be embarking on the USS Florence Nightingale, oddly enough, NOT a Hospital ship, but a Cargo ship, on his way to fight the Vichy French in Morocco. And then on to Europe on LST 197 for the rest of the War. They met after the War at the Telephone Co. in VA.

genew4907 Dec 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

My mother was a student at Hunter College in NYC.
My father worked as a steward in a NYC hospital while going to school at night at the City College of NY. He entered the Army in March 1942 and primarily served as an interpreter for Italian POW's (later "co-belligerents").
My parents were engaged when the war broke out and married in March 1946.
Three uncles also served. Two were in HS in 1941; one served in the Pacific as a SEABEE and the other earned a Purple Heart in the Ardennes in 1945. My dad's older brother worked in a hat factory and later served as an Army medic in the Pacific.

Kevin C07 Dec 2017 7:56 a.m. PST

My uncle was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 aboard the USS Helena. He survived the attack, but was killed in a car accident a few months later while on leave. I had another uncle who served as a tank commander and saw extensive combat from North Africa through the Battle of the bulge and survived a few tanks getting knocked out from under him. He also died in an accident immediately after the war. My other uncle who served in World War II survived the war and passed away a few years ago. As for my mom and dad, they were both little kids at the time, but my mom remembers that she was playing paper dolls under the kitchen table when news of the attack came over the radio. She says she can remember that moment as clear today as the day it happened.

Old Wolfman07 Dec 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

Dad was a teenager living in Hamilton ,Ohio with his family,and Mom was only 3 y/o at the time,with her family. Her brothers were in high school.

Lascaris07 Dec 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

My mom was 7 and living wherever my grandfather (a staff sergeant in the cavalry (tanks) at the time) was stationed, Georgia I believe. My father was 10 years old in Massachusetts.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

My Dad was a supervisor at an Arsenal in Ravenna, OH. Making 75mm shells, land mines, etc. Then joined the US ARMY sometime later after Dec. 7, '41.

My Ma was working at a drug store. Then some time after Pearl Harbor, worked at a factory that made P-39 parts …

Red Jacket Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 8:29 a.m. PST

My Dad was at the movies in Lackawanna, NY where he was getting ready to graduate high school and then join the U.S. Marines. My Mom was in high school in Cheektowaga, NY where she became a volunteer passing out coffee and doughnuts at Buffalo's Central Terminal. Obviously, Dad survived, met my Mom and here I am.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 8:34 a.m. PST

Doing whatever grade school kids did back then.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

My dad was in Grade 7 and my mom was in Grade 9

One uncle was a corporal instructor in the The Prince Albert Volunteers (North Saskatchewan Regiment) who shortly after Pearl Harbor was sent to the Prince Rupert Garrison

Another uncle was flying Spitfires for the RCAF

Buck21507 Dec 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

My Dad, Uncle, Aunt, and Grandma and Grandpa lived in the logging town of Arlington, Washington, and were in church at the time of the attack. When they got home, they turned on the radio and heard the repeated news of the attack. My Grandpa then asked out loud, "Where the Hell is Pearl Harbor?"

Roderick Robertson Fezian07 Dec 2017 9:57 a.m. PST

I think my Dad was already in the4 RCAF. My mom was in high school in New York City.

Never asked them, really…

lloydthegamer07 Dec 2017 10:06 a.m. PST

Don't know exactly where my parents were on that Sunday, but Dad was a logger and my mother was a homemaker. At that time they had been married two years, no kids, and had built a small house next to my paternal grandparents in the logging town of Buckley, Washington (the only house they lived in). Dad continued falling trees but would eventually be drafted, went overseas as a replacement and wound up in the 10th Mt. in Italy. Mom worked in the local saw mill during the war. Dad eventually served in Korea and spent over 30 years in the reserves rising to the rank of command sgt major.

Random Die Roll Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

Parents were too young. One Aunt was stationed in Pearl as a nurse. One Uncle fighting the Germans. Second Uncle on the Battleship Washington.

Choctaw07 Dec 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

My dad was seven years old and was attending a movie in Atoka, OK.

My mom was five and can remember walking with her dad to town because he wanted to listen to a better radio than what they had.

David Manley07 Dec 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Uncles in Singapore about to sail on PoW and Repulse. Dad in Croydon learning to be an electrician before joining up and going to the Far East with the RN

nudspinespittle Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 11:53 a.m. PST

My dad was in the U.S. Navy (joined 7/41), rounding South Africa when they got word of the attack and orders to proceed directly to Pearl Harbor to assist. My mom was born ten days after the attack.

attilathepun4707 Dec 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

My mother was still in high school in central Idaho. She remembers that her family first heard of the attack from a Nissei (Japanese-American) named Jimmy Yamamoto, who was in fact related to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

Dad was already in the Army, taking basic training at Fort Warren near Laramie, Wyoming (Brrrr!). It is often forgotten that the U.S. commenced the draft in 1940. He later served in an Ordnance company in the ETO.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 12:23 p.m. PST

My Dad was working in a small shop doing plating jobs, Mom was at a toy factory in my home town. He was draft deferred doing war work until 1945 when he was drafted in to the US Marine Corps.

Cerdic07 Dec 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

My mum was a small girl being bombed in Wolverhampton and my dad was at school with Shakespeare…

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 1:07 p.m. PST

My Dad was training to be a radio op, and my Mum was in school in Cheadle, Cheshire.

Wolfhag07 Dec 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

My Father-in-Law was at Kaneohe Bay and got strafed twice by a Zero crossing the seaplane apron area. My parents were in high school. Both enlisted and served in WWII.


95thRegt07 Dec 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

My Dad was at a NY Giants football game at Yankee Stadium when they announced the news of the attack. the promptly went and joined the Marines. 3 Uncles went into the Army,one in the Army air corps as a ground crewman,another an infantryman in the 5th Infantry div. and was captured in late 44 near Metz. My other Uncle was drafted in 43 and ended up on occupation duty in Japan with the 98th Div. Dad was on Guadalcanal as a truck driver,got malaria and was briefly attached to the famous VMF 214,Black Sheep Squadron. Dad passed away in Sept. 1990.

Bob C.

SeattleGamer07 Dec 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

Mom was about to turn 12. She lived in California. Many of her girlfriends older brothers signed up to be marines right after Pearl.

For a Californian … Hitler was an after thought. She wanted Japan to pay for attacking Pearl, and taking the lives of so many young men that she knew growing up.

Dad was about to turn 11. Also in California. But for him, Hitler was the main enemy. He followed the European theater (and Africa) closely, and was "aware" of action in the Pacific.

I always thought that was interesting, that they had a different focus.

Mom was 15 and dad was 14 when the war ended, so neither served.

cabin4clw07 Dec 2017 2:31 p.m. PST

My dad was a sophomore in Almont,MI. His family turned on the radio and heard the news of the attack.
After graduation, he went into the Army Air Corps, stationed at Scott Field, Millville NJ finally ending up at Johnston's Island.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 2:38 p.m. PST

My father was in his first year of college. He tried to enlist but was categorized as 4-F.

My mother was in school in England, dodging the occasional Luftwaffe raids on Luton.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Dec 2017 3:48 p.m. PST

My Parents were in small town Nebraska. My Dad had 3 brothers go off to war, 2 came back.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

My parents were both under two at the time, so they don't remember any of it. My paternal grandfather served as a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers in North Africa and Italy. My father didn't know who he was when he returned home to Georgia at the end of the war.
My maternal grandfather served as an Army Air Corps doctor. He was originally stationed in the US, so my mother moved around with him for awhile. He was finally sent up the Burma Road to a hospital in China. He returned from the war to become an anesthesiologist.
Several other of my great-uncles served in the war, and all came home. The last survivor passed away this year at 100 years of age. He served in the Pacific (Okinawa and Guadal Canal, IIRC), and was one of the troops being readied for the invasion of Japan when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Knowing what he knew of war, he never questioned the rightness of those actions. After the war, he was a pediatrician in Florida, and helped develop methods to treat premature infants to ensure their survival, methods which are used today around the world.

Where they all were on Dec. 7, I do not know, and alas, they are no longer with us to tell.

Lee49407 Dec 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

My mom listened to it on the radio with her family in NJ. I asked her an interesting question one day. Four time stopping tragedies. Pearl Harbor. Kennedy. Challenger. 9/11. Which had biggest impact and made biggest impression. My mom said Pearl Harbor. It had more far reaching world impacts. And the people knew it that day. The country and the world changed forever. On balance I agree. How about You? Cheers!

Sundance07 Dec 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

My dad was a US Marine stationed in Iceland at the time. He was an RTO and was on the switchboard when they received word of Pearl Harbor. I can't remember where my mom was but it was much more domestic, I'm sure.

BattlerBritain07 Dec 2017 4:51 p.m. PST

Mum and Dad both little and at school dodging German bombs in Brighton.

My Nan even had a FW-190 pilot wave at her as she was hanging out the washing one day and he was busy being chased by Spitfires.

Grandfather was in North Africa with the Tank Regiment.

Lion in the Stars07 Dec 2017 5:07 p.m. PST

Dad's parents were at CalTech, I think. Mom's Dad was an engineer at Chrysler.

Stepmom's Dad was a letter carrier in North Carolina.

Blutarski07 Dec 2017 7:05 p.m. PST

First of all, a big +1 to Cacique Caribe for this timely and respectful thread marking Pearl Harbor Day.

Both my parents have passed and I sadly do not know what their situations were on the fateful Sunday.

My mother was 14 at that time and a student at Girls Latin School in Boston MA. But her older cousin John Evans (a pilot) had gone up to Canada before Pearl Harbor, joined the RCAF as one of the pioneers of the "Great Circle Air Route" from Canada by way of Greenland and Iceland to the UK. Thereafter he spent the war flying British VIPs (including Winston) around the world. His plane (PB4Y) disappeared over the Atlantic in 1948 while returning to Britain with the UK delegation to the founding of the UN in San Francisco.

My father was 19 and working as a precision machinist at Watertown Arsenal in Massachusetts. He quit his draft-deferred job over the protests of his employer (he was good at his work) and enlisted in the USN in the Spring of 1942 because (as he related to me late in life) he was lonely all his neighborhood friends and cronies had gone off to war. He served in the Pacific on a tin can (DD473 USS Lardner) from Bougainville onward, finishing the war as a coxswain. His DD Division escorted Nimitz's flagship (USS Wisconsin) into Tokyo Bay for the surrender.

Caps off, gentlemen.


Bill N07 Dec 2017 7:17 p.m. PST

My father was working with his father in the basement of their Pittsburgh home when news was broadcast of the attack. He told me the story 25 years later.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2017 9:10 p.m. PST

My Dad was 16 on December 7th 1941 – he figured the war would be over by the time he was 18, then he was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge 3 years later…….

A great generation for sure.

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