John W. Kuhnel and his wife Isolene were living in Honolulu at Hickam (also commonly spelled Hickham) with their young son Ronald when the Japanese attacked the islands on December 7, 1941. Shortly thereafter John wrote an account of the bombing, and a few months later another short account of the trip back to the mainland early in the war in May 1942. Both these fascinating accounts are reproduced here exactly as they were originally written. The account of the attack on Pearl Harbor is a chilling story of how far from anyone's mind such an attack must have been, and speaks quite clearly to the stress this event placed on civilians, as well as military personnel.
The second piece tells of the original trip to Hawaii and then after the war started of the harrowing trip back on a naval vessel with a new young baby, Japanese submarines lurking about, the harsh conditions of the trip, and the joy at making it back to the mainland safely. It contains some very interesting additional insights into the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I was quite shocked when as a young boy, when I discovered these two paper's on the attack on Pearl Harbor in our family attic in Sacramento, and came across the line "...To kill them [meaning his family] appeared best but what an ending to all my plans and dreams!". At that moment I fully realized the true terror that the attack on Pearl Harbor must have generated, if it would cause such a mild mannered man as my father even contemplate such an act. Please enjoy the stories.
Also here are a number of historic photos of the attack. These photos have circulated on the Internet as Spam, with an intriguing, but untrue story about how they were recently found in a Brownie Camera in a footlocker.
See http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/pearlharbor.asp for the facts on this. However this does not dimish the power of these photos and I have reproduced them on this website. To view them go to:
Historic Attack on Pearl Harbor Photos
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