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December 8, 1941

My Executive Officer, Lt. Aikran [?], and I were sleeping outside the battery in a tent. At this time, my battery as well as the others were maintaining a 24 hr. watch of not less than two men. About 2:30 AM on Monday 8 December (7 Dec. in the States) this watch came to my tent and told me Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Remembering the Panay incident, I said, “Oh hell, some stupid Nip has taken off with a light aircraft out of a rice paddy and created a disturbance!” Whereupon, I went back to sleep. Later in prison camp, I met a young enlisted man who had been on duty at the wireless station in the Philippines when the news of the attack came in. He said that the Pearl Harbor operator had kept repeating: “Air raid-no drill! Air raid-no drill!”

When I awakened next morning our small receiving set was bouncing with the details of the Pearl Harbor attack. But apparently, after the initial announcement, very little was said. I could never see then or later how Japan could hope to win a war against us. Their methods of transportation and cultivation and their manufacturing potential were so low that all they could hope to do was store up material with which to hit us. We sold them the necessary items with which to build up their war machine but they had no sustaining power. So I was still incredulous!!! Around ten o’clock in the morning, we observed over Manila, 30 miles away, a full-scale and unopposed air attack on the Naval Air Base at Cavite. After which a formation of Nip bombers flew arrogantly by the Rock just out of range of our guns. When I saw the rising sun of Japan on those bombers and realized how little we had to oppose them, I knew a war had begun.