- Publisher: Globe Pequot Press / Lyons Press
- Available in: Paperback
- ISBN: 1493023438
- Published: October 1, 2016
Eyewitness To Infamy: An Oral History of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed the lives of almost every American, and began the process of putting 17 million of them in uniform to fight in World War II. Yet in the long and fascinating body of literature about this terrible event, most historians have neglected the compelling and moving accounts of the surviving military personnel and civilians who were on Oahu at the time of the attack, at dawn on December 7, 1941.
Eyewitness to Infamy is their story—the astonishing oral history of the brutal attack that pushed the United States into WWII on the side of the Allies: the British, French, and Russians. With the help of the Pearl Harbor Survivors’ Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion, Paul Travers collected more than 200 eyewitness accounts from which he painstakingly selected those critical to this behind-the-scenes narrative account. With breathtaking clarity, the narratives cover the full range of military activity on the island, along battleship row, and around the harbor, while portraying the human side of the event—the heroic, the tragic, and the terrible reality of the assault.
I could see his fixed landing gear and the big red circle under each wing. I yelled ‘Great God! The Japs are here!’ The other guys at the time laughed at me – (William Rolfe).
Even armed with knowledge of the battle’s outcome, the reader is easily swept into these dramatic accounts and is able to relive the attack through the experiences of those who were there:
Now there was fire and heavy black smoke rising. We could see the heads of the pilots in the cockpits and the fire from machine guns in front of the cockpits. Then the red sun on the side of the planes. They were Japanese planes – (William Showen).
More than a factual account, Eyewitness to Infamy recounts the personal history of Pearl Harbor survivors and the personal odyssey of a group of unsung heroes who persevered through the 1,347 days of war between the “day of infamy” and V-J Day, 15 August 1945:
It was a sad and sobering sight to look on from the edge of the cemetery and watch the ceremonies. These were the first American soldiers lost in this war, and I knew history was being made right in front of my eyes… The smell of the freshly dug earth and the scent of pine in the air from the freshly cut caskets seemed so out of place in the middle of a tropical island. The ugliness of war was leaving the earth scarred, even in paradise – (Melvin Faulkner).
This is the gripping story about the children of the Great Depression who journeyed to Pearl Harbor from America’s industrial cities and farm towns. They were the first to bear the burden of battle. They are the voices that echo
Keep America alert, keep America strong, keep America ready.
“Remember Pearl Harbor… “
…more than a motto, more than a memory. Relive the Day of Infamy through the eyes of the survivors!