Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 14

Pearl Harbor Child
An eyewitness account of the attack on Pearl Harbor

them know we were alright. We couldn't even mail a
letter," Dorinda recalls.
t was a Sunday morning. Dorinda Makana-  1LJKWVQRZLQFOXGHGEODFNRXWVIURPSPWR
onalani remembers Dec. 7, 1941 as clearly as a.m. Barbed wire was everywhere, bomb shelters
if it were yesterday. It was the Sunday that were built and food was rationed. She remembers
would forever change the life of the 6 year old, KHU PRWKHU ÀOOLQJ XS WKHLU EDWKWXE ZLWK ZDWHU LQ
case the supply was cut or Japan attacked again.
her family and the world.
Dorinda clearly recalls the attack on Pearl Har- "Dad found incendiary bullets in the walls of our
bor 78 years ago. She shares her story in a book house for months," Dorinda recalls. "I still have one
Dad cut out from the wall with his pocket knife."
titled "Pearl Harbor Child"
Another thing each person had to adjust to was
Her home was near the tip of Hawaii's Pearl City
Peninsula, only hundreds of yards from the United toting around a gas mask in a bag. "My brother's
6WDWHV3DFLÀF)OHHWWKH1DY\·VKHDGTXDUWHUVORFDW bag was as long as he was tall," she notes.
By 1945, U.S. military forces ended blackouts
ed in Pearl Harbor.
Dorinda's mother cooked while her baby, Ishma- and curfews at Pearl Harbor. And on Aug. 14, while
el, slept. As her father ate breakfast, he commented riding home from the hula class her mother had
how real the maneuvers sounded this morning. Her WDXJKWÀUHZRUNVVXGGHQO\ÀOOHGWKHVN\ZKLOHSHR
mother noted how odd it seemed for the Army and ple chanted "The war is over!"
"I thought we would continue to live in Pearl
1DY\WRSUDFWLFHGULOOVRQD6XQ
+DUERUWKHUHVWRIRXUOLYHVEXWWKH1DY\ZDVWU\
day - and that's when Dorinda
ing to move civilians out," Dorinda says. "Evensays the explosions hit, shaking
tually we moved to a home up in the hills,
the house.
where we could see the harbor."
"Dad jumped up and ran outRaytown
By the time Dorinda graduated high
side," recalls Dorinda. "I ran out
school, her hula dancing skills won the
right behind him. We stood in our
´)OLJKWWR)DPHµFRQWHVWZKLFKWRRNKHU
\DUGVWDULQJXSDWDVN\ÀOOHGZLWK
WRWKHPDLQODQGIRUWKHÀUVWWLPH:KLOH
Japanese planes with red circles
there, she visited her father's family in
painted on their wings.
Kansas City and met her future hus ´7KHSODQHVÁHZVRORZWKH\ZHUH
EDQG /DUU\ 1LFKROVRQ 6KH DWWHQGHG
barely above our trees," she continues.
FROOHJH LQ .DQVDV &LW\ ÀUVW EHFRPLQJ
"One plane was so close I saw the pilot's
D ÁLJKW DWWHQGDQW DQG ODWHU D SV\FKRWKHUDSLVW
face with his goggles pushed up on his forehead."
 7KH ÀJKWHU SODQHV ORZHUHG LQ D ÀQDO GHVFHQW working as a counselor for a mental health center
DLPHG IRU $PHULFDQ VKLSV ÀOOHG ZLWK KXQGUHGV RI in Kansas City until her retirement.
"I truly am a child of history because only a
sleeping sailors.
 ´7KHDLUZDVÀOOHGZLWKDQDFULGVPHOODQGWKHVN\ handful of kids stayed there during the war," says
ZDV ÀOOLQJ ZLWK JUD\ FORXGV \RX FRXOG KDUGO\ VHH Dorinda. "I feel I must share my experience."
Today, Dorinda speaks to groups of all ages
through," recalls Dorinda, 84. "All you could hear
was the roar of engines on the Japanese planes as about growing up as the "Pearl Harbor Child."
"War is hell, plain and simple," she adds, "But
they dive-bombed the ships in the harbor."
While the target was warships, the bombs hit you can move from hatred to peace. With time it
civilian homes as well, including the one where truly is possible to forgive."
Dorinda and her family lived by the harbor.
You can reach Dorinda by emailing dorinda@
 ´2XU NLWFKHQ ZDV RQ ÀUH DQG SDUWV RI WKH URRI
were gone," says Dorinda, who now lives in Ray- pearlharborchild.com; calling 816-356-6375, or
town. "Dad gathered up Mom, my baby brother and on Facebook at Pearl Harbor Child. Check out
to
me and we headed away from the harbor as truck- www.pearlharborchild.com
see Dorinda's other books about
loads of servicemen poured into the area."
As they left the only home Dorinda had ever Pearl Harbor for all ages or
NQRZQKHUIDWKHUEULHÁ\VWRSSHGDWDKLJKHUVSRW to inquire about having her
speak to your school or
where they could see what was happening.
"One battleship was upside down and many oth- group.
HUVZHUHRQÀUHµ'RULQGDUHFDOOV´,WORRNHGOLNHWKH
ZDWHUZDVRQÀUHEHFDXVHRIWKHEXUQLQJRLOµ
Blocked by military police from returning home,
WKHIDPLO\KHDGHGLQWRWKHVXJDUFDQHÀHOGVLQWKH
hills. Dorinda played with her dog and the other
children who started arriving. A neighbor who'd
joined the group said the governor had declared a
state of emergency and that Hawaii was now under
martial law, meaning the military was in charge.
Even at her young age, Dorinda knew something
was wrong, but she felt safe, because she was with
her family. But daily life was going to be different.
 ´1RZWKDW,·PDQDGXOW,FDQVHHRQHRIWKHPRVW
GLIÀFXOWWKLQJVP\GDGDQGPRPZHQWWKURXJKZDV
Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson at age 6, posed with her
not being able to call family on the mainland to let
gas mask and her dog and best friend, Hula Girl.
by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop

14

RURAL MISSOURI | DECEMBER 2019


http://www.pearlharborchild.com

Rural Missouri - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 10
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 11
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 12
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 13
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 14
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 15
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 16
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 17
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 18
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 19
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 20
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 21
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 22
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 23
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 24
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 25
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 26
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 27
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 28
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 29
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 30
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 31
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 32
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 33
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 34
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 35
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 36
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 37
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - 38
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - December 2019 - Cover4
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