Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Harbor’

A man rushed into Dad’s house. “They just attacked Pearl Harbor.”

Someone replied, “There ain’t no Pearls living in Sellersburg.”

No one knew that the US Navy operated out of Pearl Harbor or that it was in Honolulu or that Honolulu was the capital of Hawaii or that Hawaii was part of the USA. They learned that day. (Dad was 12)

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I climbed Diamond Head in 1988 on honeymoon. (my wife wisely chose to not climb) Rough climb, great view. I later learned that a radar station on Diamond Head had detected the invading Japanese airplanes heading for Pearl Harbor, but the radar was primitive. The radar operator decided that the planes were American bombers coming from California. The rest is sad history.


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Honolulu Blues

In 1988, I climbed Diamond Head, an extinct volcano on the other side of Honolulu from Pearl Harbor. The steps we climbed were the same ones used by the radar crew on December 7, 1941—a rough climb that I couldn’t imagine doing daily. The radar back them was rudimentary. Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, a radar operator spotted a large group of aircraft heading for Pearl Harbor. He was informed that a delivery of new bombers from the mainland was expected. If only someone had taken him seriously. My prayers to the wounded, dead, and their families.

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December 7, 1941

My dad, Charles G. Suddeth, was 12 and was living in Sellersburg, Indiana.

Someone came running into the house—they’d been listening to the radio—they yelled “they just bombed Pearl Harbor.”

“I don’t know any Pearls livening in Sellersburg,” said a second man.

Everyone gathered around the radio to listen to FDR’s address, “a date which will live in infamy.”

No one else will ever again ask that question. I salute the fallen.

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