San Diego

Oceanside woman reads Pearl Harbor letter for first time publicly

86-year-old Oceanside woman shares a letter her mom wrote after shock assault, December 7, 1941.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Eighty-one years in the past immediately, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Oceanside the place a woman who witnessed the assault is studying a letter her mom wrote about that horrible day publicly for the first time. Buried in a field in a closet for many years, Barbara Brown says it’s time to share the phrases with the world.

“That’s my mom and dad,” stated Barbara displaying photos from her childhood. In California in 1940, Barbara’s dad and mom introduced their household can be taking a voyage. “This is our boat ticket to Hawaii for the family,” stated Barbara.  A year in a while December 7, 1941, Barbara’s life modified perpetually. “We had no idea at all,” stated Barbara. It was on a Sunday morning when Barbara appeared up into the Honolulu sky and will solely see enemy planes. “I was five years old,” stated Barbara.  

Her mom Esther wrote a letter following the assault that she by no means mailed. Barbara learn the letter to us, “As I stood there watching the firing of the ships as the planes went over, something told me it was not a usual practice.” Barbara’s father George, a civilian Navy contractor, survived the shock assault together with their good good friend, a Navy Sailor named Russ. The letter states, “Russ had just left the car and immediately hit the dirt under a truck inside the base in order to avoid being strafed by a plane.”  

Russ additionally survived however 2,403 Americans died. “Actual official word of the attack did not reach us until twelve noon when the President announced that we were under attack by the Japanese,” Barbara learn. The letter signifies days of chaos that adopted. It did not have an effect on me, the one factor that bothered me was carrying the rattling masks,” said Barbara. She showed us a picture of her siblings and her wearing gas masks. “That’s me, that is my older sister, that’s my youngest brother and that’s my older brother,” said Barbara. “We needed to put on them daily from the bombing on.”

The US authorities ultimately evacuated Barbara’s household again to San Francisco. “You couldn’t even tell your next-door neighbor you were leaving,” stated Barbara who by no means knew how careworn her mom was till studying the letter. Her mom wrote, “I don’t believe it was until then that I began to feel the tension I had been under for the last few months.”

At age 86, Barbara is preventing her personal battle with lung most cancers and needs to verify this letter isn’t forgotten. “I want to pass it on and share it with people,” stated Barbara. “It feels good knowing that my mother wrote something that profound.” Her mom ended the letter by writing, “Best wishes to all Esther Hill.” 

Along with the losses of our service members, Barbara needs to honor the 68 civilians who had been killed in the course of the assault on Pearl Harbor as nicely.

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