First-hand accounts

Ginger's Diary

This diary entry was written by a 17 year old High School Senior who was living at Hickam Field, Hawaii, at the time of the Japanese bombing on December 7, 1941

The Jones Brothers

Gordon Jones and his brother Earl had been stationed at Kaneohe on December 2 1941, and yet only five days later they were to have their baptism of fire. Between the first and second wave, they were kept busy trying to extinguish fires and moving less damaged planes to safer locations. When it began, they had no reason to suspect that the second wave would be any different to the first.

John William Finn

Chief Ordnanceman John William Finn, a Navy veteran of 15 years service, was in charge of looking after the squadron's machine-guns at Kaneohe, but Sunday 7 December was his rest day. The sound of machine-gun fire awoke him rudely.

Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr.

When the smoke had cleared and the skies had quieted over the wreck of the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, all that remained of its one-time commander was his Naval Academy ring, fused to a pole. R/Adm. Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., was the highest-ranking servicemember killed on "the day that will live in infamy," and the first officer killed in action in the Pacific theater.

Seaman Martin Matthews

Fifteen-year-old sailor Martin Matthews of Shelbyville, W. Va., shouldn't have been on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. Assigned to nearby Ford Island Naval Station, Matthews was on board the Arizona to visit an old buddy, Seaman 1st Class William Stafford, en route to some sightseeing on shore.

For more eyewitness accounts visit the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.