"This Seventh Day of December seemed almost like a nightmare to me, and as long as I live, I will never forget this day."
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, on a Holy Sabbath morn, the radio blasted out the most unbelievable news, the news of an attack by our Far Eastern neighbors, the Japanese, on Pearl Harbor. It took me several minutes to realize what was happening because at first I thought it was just a joke. But when my First Aid Station clerk called me up and ordered me to report to duty at once, I knew it was the real “McCoy.”
When I arrived at the First Aid Station, all the First Aiders crowded around the only radio, a portable, tensely waiting for news, good or bad. All of a sudden we heard a sickening shrill and a loud boom. We were knocked off our feet by the powerful pressure. One of the bombs had fallen on our school, which was adjacent to our First Aid Station, and several in the neighborhood. Fortunately none of us were injured. Immediately the boys formed squads and went out after casualties. My squad came across the first casualty, who unfortunately was already dead. She died of a shrapnel wound on her skull.
This was my first experience in picking up a dead and bloody body.
After this first case we went out to look for more casualties. This time we went to the inferno on King and McCully Streets to help the firemen gather human flesh fragments of the bombed victims.
This Seventh Day of December seemed almost like a nightmare to me, and as long as I live, I will never forget this day.
© 1942 McKinley High School. Reprinted by permission.