First hand memories of 7 December 1941

USS Arizona magazine explodes

USS Arizona magazine explodes

We all recall where we were on 11 September 2001 but the generation of my parents and grandparents vividly recall where they were when they heard the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the early morning hours of 7 December 1941. The 8 December 1941 Japanese attack was equally humiliating but didn’t get as much press.

I didn’t think to ask family members about Pearl Harbor but I know some individuals who recall….

  • Malcolm Magid (1923-2012) (Malcom enlisted in the Air Corps and served with the 8th Air Force service information here)

    I was a traveling salesman for a company and their main office was in New York Avenue, the Americas Reeves Brothers, Incorporated. They had seven or eight textile mills in North Carolina, South Carolina and I was on the road listening to the radio on the way to the next call. We manufactured offset blankets, which are used in the offset printing process. They wrap around one of the cylinders. There’s a three cylinder arrangement, one carries the plate, it’s a flat plate with the image on it and the other carries a blanket and the third carries the paper and so it was material that had to be made in such a way that it didn’t have variations in the thickness. They’d wrap that around, then, they’d print the newspapers, or flat sheet presses, whatever. But I was on the highway and I was kind of astounded, like everybody else was to hear it, you know, but…

  • On that Sunday, Ruth was at home with her parents (and they had company over) listening to her father’s big radio floor model when word of the attack was broadcast.
  • Maddy was on a street car in Chicago with her cousin on their way to a bridge (rubber, not contract) game. When she heard, they worried about someone’s cousin who was in the Navy.
  • Rich was home and heard President Roosevelt announce the attack in a radio speech. He enlisted in the US Army and served until 1945 in the China-Burma-India Theater.
  • Fay recalls hearing about Pearl Harbor on the radio and possibly by word of mouth.

See more pictures here and here..

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