Home > Encyclopedia > Jones, James

Private Jones, James

Twenty-year-old James Jones was based at Schofield Barracks and spent some of his time sitting in on a creative writing class at the University of Hawaii. He was later to write one of the outstanding novels of World War II, From Here to Eternity. When the Japanese attacked on 7 December he was at breakfast at the Barracks. On Sunday mornings there was an extra half-pint of milk to be had, and Jones recalls caring more for the safety of his milk than of himself. He and his buddies ran out when a fighter came screaming over, machine guns firing. As they huddled against a wall, a second plane flew up the boulevard, two lines of holes going in front up the roadway. "As he came abreast of us," Jones wrote, "he gave us a typically toothy grin and waved, and I shall never forget his face behind the goggles. A white silk scarf streamed out behind his neck and he wore a white ribbon around his helmet just above the goggles, with a red spot in the center of his forehead." (WWII: A Chronicle of Soldiering, New York, 1975.) Jones later learnt that the ribbon was called a hachimaki. In mid-afternoon the infantry were deployed to defensive positions on the beaches.

See also: hachimaki; Schofield Barracks

You can find out more about Schofield Barracks in the following Osprey book:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941