Memories of the times

As an eyewitness to the historical event of the day that was to live in infamy, I’m sad that this remembrance is so weak. I, like many women, were willing to abide by many regulations as we pondered the danger of the men on the war front. Even the very rich had not the luxury of living lavishly.

My sisters were “Rosie the Riveters” and worked long hours. War planes were never produced faster; but by the end of the war women supposedly turned weak and returned to the kitchen. Scholarships were joyfully set aside for the returning men to enter colleges under the G.I. Bill – they deserved this opportunity. Thousands returned with foreign war brides. As I stayed on as file clerk in Wheeler Field for six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, I experienced living under martial law. The ocean around the island of Oahu was off limits and blocked with barbed wire. Even to look upon the beach was a military sin.

I recall the exciting cruise that took me across the beautiful waters to Oahu and how excited I was to be working in civil service as file clerk in headquarters in Wheeler Field. Wheeler Field was first to be attacked by the Japanese Zeros and two of the pilots were modeled for the film “Tora, Tora.”

For this 20-year-old in the year 1941 who seldom had been off the farm, Hawaii was awesome. Thanksgiving 1941 I embarked in Honolulu for the most beautiful, exciting time of my life; afterward the most foreboding of times.

Mountlake Terrace

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