As we approached, the pilot came on the 737’s PA systern to announce that he would be swinging around the coral atoll before landing so everyone would get a good first look at our destination, one of the most remote in the Pacific Ocean. A murmur lifted and echoed through the cabin as those on one side and then the other strained to glimpse the wide lagoon, a luminescent aquamarine circle surrounded by the deep blue of the encompassing sea.
Some memories are good and some bad, but the fact is that they change over the years. All of us who were part of it can recall how angry we were about the war against the Axis Powers. We were mad at all of it: Pearl Harbor, enemy atrocities, everything. We were also angry on the personal level at the necessity of going to war, at the consequent disruptions to our lives, at the risks we had to take, the privations, and the all-pervading, constant fear. We hated it, or thought sincerely that we did.Read more »
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was only one blow in an offensive without parallel in warfare. Within hours after the first bombs had crashed into Battleship Row, Japanese forces struck at twenty-nine targets along a three-thousand-mile front that stretched from the central Pacific to the South China Sea. Destroyers shelled American installations on Midway Island, and airplanes spilled their bombs over Clark and Iba airfields in the Philippines, wiping out half the American air forces there in a single raid.Read more »
One of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s great services to history was the appointment, in 1942, of the eminent Harvard professor Samuel Eliot Morison to write the story of the United States Navy in World War II. This was to prove no ordinary task of scholarship, for Morison was given the opportunity to witness at sea much of the combat he would one day describe.