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For Russell County writer, Pearl Harbor big part of family history

'It's always been remembered in my family since my late uncle and mother were both witnesses and survivors that day.' - ROBERT CUMMING, Jamestown, KY
Today, December 7, 2016, is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day marking the attack on Pearl Harbor 74 years ago. (Attack on Pearl Harbor, Wikipedia).

By Robert Cumming

December 7th marks 75 years since Japan launched an air attack on the American naval and army bases at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

It's always been remembered in my family since my late uncle and mother were both witnesses and survivors that day.

My uncle was a naval officer stationed at Pearl and he got my mother her first job as a civilian employee of the Navy Department in paradise Hawaii six months before the attack after she graduated from a midwest college.

My mother always said Sunday morning of the attack many were sleeping late from Saturday night Christmas parties and at first thought it might be a training exercise until bombs started falling down the street.

She made it to work the next day only to be told due to the situation her job was over and she had 72 hours to get off the island with only what she could carry.

She bought a first-class Matson Line steamer ticket back to San Francisco managing to carry only a very small grip of clothes and her recently purchased Zenith tabletop combination radio-phonograph player!

She said they put her in the ships hold with a first class ticket in steerage class due to the wartime conditions, as the ship slowly zig-zagged back to the mainland in fear of submarine attack.

In 1991 my mother and I attended the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack at a national meeting of Pearl Harbor survivors held in Lexington that year.

The program was interesting when they previewed a tape of the BBC production "Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor", a conspiracy theory about how Roosevelt and Churchill got America in the war. This film is available on You Tube. --Robert Cumming

This story was posted on 2016-12-07 04:17:24
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