Local paper Front Page–Navy signalman vividly recalls 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

Q: What do you remember about the instant the bombs starting falling?

A: I was sitting on the side of my bunk putting my shoes on. All of a sudden I heard an explosion in the distance. I could hear people running up and down in the dark. I heard another explosion and the running got faster. Then a guy leaned down a hatch and yelled “The Japs are attacking.”

Here is a Quiz before you read further: how long do you think it took him by his estimate to get word to his family that he was ok?

Take a guess and then check out the rest.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Aging / the Elderly, Defense, National Security, Military, History

2 comments on “Local paper Front Page–Navy signalman vividly recalls 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor

  1. Robert Lundy says:

    1 month is my guess

  2. Ad Orientem says:

    Haven’t read the story yet, but as an historian I would guess weeks at the least. One has to assume some things that would have hugely interrupted ordinary channels of communication.

    First telephone service to the mainland would have been limited (and very expensive) in 1941 even before the attack. It would likely have been limited to military and government use once the war broke out. Western Union would have been the next fastest method of communication. But it too would have been largely limited at least in the immediate aftermath of the attack to government traffic. The US Mail would have been suspended for a while due to the need to arrange naval convoys for surface ships and airplane service, once again, would have been almost certainly been restricted to military service in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

    Regular delivery of the mails to and from the war zones eventually became fairly well organized. But that took time to set up. And with the the benefit of hindsight I would have tried hard to avoid sending telegrams to any family members during the war. The knock of the Western Union man became one of the most feared events for families with sons or husbands in the service.