Describes Jap Attack on Fateful Sunday Morning
Brother of Local Man Gives Interesting Account
Louis L. Holland has received the following letter from his brother, Curtis D. Holland, telling of the attack of the Japs. Mr. Holland is instructor of International Business Machines in Hawaiian Dept. U. S. army. The letter was held by the censors, as Louis says he has received several letters from Curtis since this one was written. The censors cut out certain portions of the message. The letter follows:
8:30 P. M., December 7, 1941
I guess that today has been the most exciting one that I have ever seen up until this time. I awoke at about 7:30 a.m. and read the morning paper very casually and finally wandered over to the mess hall about an hour later and breakfast was already over so I had a couple of bottles of milk and started back to my tent to go back to bed on account of it being Sunday and no work today, but before I got to the tent I heard a continuous firing of anti-aircraft guns in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field. Some of the boys and I were standing in the area way watching the projectiles burst in mid-air, finally I decided that it was more maneuvers since the Hawaiian Dept. had been on the alert for several weeks, so I went inside the tent and turned on the radio and the first thing I heard them say was that the Islands were under attack, still some of the fellows discredited the authenticity of the report. But (censored) time flat we were issued live ammunition and were on our way to our outpost to guard them until the 35th infantry from Schofield came in to relieve us so we could return to our personnel work in the machine record unit. While I was on this guard I climbed a tall tree where I could gain an advantageous viewpoint of the actual bombing that was taking place at Hickam and Pearl Harbor, about two or three miles away. I counted 45 dive bombers on right after the other diving down out of the clouds behind a huge billow of smoke that was coming from (1/2 line censored) pulling out of the dive and making their getaway. We had a mounted patrol on horseback that was circling St. Shafter and one of the boys that had passed Tripler General Hospital which was just a block or two from where I was said that the dead and wounded were pouring in by the hundreds. This was hard for me to believe so I went over and made a first hand investigation. They were bringing them in on ambulances, trucks, taxis, private vehicles and motorcycles. Some of the boys all practically air corps men were already dead, some dying and others shot all to hell. I have seen some pitiful sights but this was the most orgy and bloodiest of anything that I con conceive of. Conveyances were pouring in so fast that the medics couldnít take care of them as soon as they got there so the lawns all over were covered with wounded men, some unconscious, some with limbs blown away and others in a shell-shocked frenzy. It was really gastly. I got so damn sick at my stomach that I wanted to cry, but I didnít have time for that so I pitched in and gave a hand to litter-bearing and hauling medicine up to the operating room on the elevator. I finally had to go back and relieve the man that had relieved me on the outpost and while there missiles were flying over our heads at a mile a minute and bursting all around us right and left. We finally received orders to evacuate the civilians that lived immediately adjoining the post, but there was a ten foot wire fence separating us and it had to come down so we could get to them so I had a driver to take me over the gulch to the 64th CAC to get wire cutters and just as we got over there this enemy plane come zooming over spitting machine gun fire and we had to abandon truck and run for safer cover. We got out of there with the wire cutters and came back and performed our mission.
Our relief from Schofield got here about 3 oíclock and we came in and had chow and immediately set up a watch in our section. We are all completely blacked and so far tonight there has been one more raid by enemy craft, we watched the return fire and the tracer bullets lighted up the air like a fourth of July celebration. Another oil tank was hit and the fire from it lighted up the entire northern sector of Oahu. As 18 men are working in our section we are divided into tow shifts but our work must go on despite any attack. We are waiting til tomorrow to find out what the actually casualty list is. As Iím sitting here writing this I can still hear the constant drone of planes overhead, I donít know whether they are ours or whether they are hostile, but anyhow hell broke loose on Oahu today. I know because I saw it. The inevitable rumors accompanied the outbreak of this war that has been in the offing for such a long time. (Two lines censored.) But rumor (1/2 line censored) this is the real thing as Iíve got my automatic and plenty of rounds of ammunition strapped around me Ė quiet, I think there (1 Ĺ lines censored) the window Iíve got to go see what heís lurking at.
Please donít worry about me because I know that everything will pan out OK and I will be home in no time flat.
Lots of love to all,
The above was found as a newspaper clipping apparently from a Richmond County, North Carolina newspaper. No date was included on the clipping.
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Holland web site published 10 July 1996. - This page added 14 December 2001. Last updated 21 Jan 2011. 11/10
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