Being nearly 12/7 ...........


West Central AR
1st God rest those who remain may peace follow the families and peaceful rest to those who have gone before .

Some of you have probably read this before .

My 2nd Great grandmother's name was Nancy Allison , her aunt shared her name. The elder Nancy married William Mckinley in 1829 her son born in 1843 William Mckinley would become the 25th President of the US. He served in the Union Army for the duration of the Civil War w/the 23rd Ohio Infantry at 1 point w/Major Ruthaford Hays . Elected in 1896 was the CIC for the Spainish American war ''winning'' Guam,the Phillipenes and Puerto Rico. In 1898 he signed annexation papers for those and the Republic of Hawaii.

James Reed served as a CSA scout 1863-64. He married Orvillia Hoover and had 10 children together. James was registered as a Cherokee Native American in 1873 . Leora James Reed the 7th or 8th child born April 28 1912 near Winslow Arkansas w/her twin sister Elnora. Their survival is wonder enough w/both parents being half Native American an a full blood mid-wife. Lee was my Grandmother . She lived a colorful life. She married an Army vet Joseph Hart in Chicago in 1927. They divorced in 39' after my Dads birth. She married again in 40 in Hawthorne Nv. Going to Oakland Ca not long after. She went to work as a welder, after getting a welders certification , in the Port Chicago shipyard until about June or July of 1941.

By know you're thinking AAAANNNNDDD??

Well, Virginia and William Wright were Nancy's great grandchildren and my grandfather and great aunt.

Leora was at least in the shipyard w/ships that were at Pearl 72yr ago.

William was in the USN 1937-39 then signed on w/Civil Service . He married Nora Louise ''Toppy'' Hughes in the fall of 1940.

Virginia had gone to school and hired on to Pan Am in 1939 . In those days a flight attendant had to be at least a registered nurse. She was based in 1940 Honolulu and flew the entire Pacific from LA to Seattle and west to Hong Kong.

William was given a list of assignment choices 1 of which was Public Works for Wheeler and Hickum Fields and the Naval Yard at Pearl Harbor. He left Nashville about the 10th of June 41' Toppy joined him in Pearl City in November.

William was out for the morning walk down to the beach ,about 12 blocks from their apt, he was an avid fisherman and was thinking a day on the beach for them and a few casts w/cut bait might produce some sunfish. He'd paused under a palm to put his shoes on and heard the familiar engine drone thinking ''the Air corps is out early especially on a Sunday''......... It was 5 days before he would know if his sister or wife had survived. During the next 3 days he would ride boats as a survivor recovery man...... mostly he just recovered the dead . On the 10th he was released to his shop to continue pulling new power lines in to pad up the spliced band-aided lines for the Navy Yard and the airfield .
Toppy awake to the 1st explosions and breaking glass. She pulled the bed up against the inside wall closet door. And padded the walls w/pillows and waited ..............11hr later the 1st patrol for survivors hammered the door and gave her directions....more directives to go to the highschool gym. She would spend 10 days there seeing William just twice. ''I was terrified,not knowing who or what was happening . All I could do was to go to an inside corner and pad myself all around as best as I could.''

Virginia was rousted from bed , being it was her off time from flight duty , by the noise . Shortly after her apartment was filled with injured and worse as it became a triage .
Her plane was pressed into service and stripped from a luxury trans-Pacific aircraft to cargo/Medevac airplane . She was drafted into Hospital service for 21 days of 18hr days. Imagine the shift from ,airsick and altitude sickness to meatball amputation assistant. It would be 16 days before she would stumble onto William and learn that he and Toppy had come out untouched by the attack.

Not 1 of them ever received formal recognition nor have they been eligible for any Pearl Harbor Survivor privileges.
It is also interesting to note the ''unintended'' consequences of 1 man signing a single document , and the potential for those to effect 1's own family for over a century.

William has been gone since 12/25/17-12/17/94
Virginia passed in 2008
Toppy passed away in 2014 in assisted living having taken a 5 generation picture w/1 daughter,her only grandson,3 greats and GG grands.
Leora passed 12/14/2007 out living 3 husbands and 10 siblings including her twin sister by nearly 10yr and her ''baby'' brother by almost 5 yr.

That's my story about today 12/7 has effected my life and who I am.


Staff member
Great story.
Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial are on my bucket list.


Well-Known Member
Heck of a connection. I have two minor ones. My family moved to Hawaii just after WW2 ended,
my father was assigned as a night fighter instructor. I have a few short memories of Hawaii, but
years later my mother showed me photos of our neighbor in Hawaii standing next to her front
yard palm trees with 20mm cannon holes thru them. Apparently the Japs did a lot of strafing of
the civilian housing areas, in addition to the military bases.

A number of years ago, I met an older lady who told of being a child when the Japs were strafing,
and hitting the floor in the kitchen where she and her siblings were eating breakfast. Bullets
smashed through the kitchen, but nobody was hit. Later she found a number of spent bullets
from the stafing and saved them. She asked if anyone knew anything about guns, nobody had
ever been able to tell her anything about the bullets. I offered to examine them, saying I did
know a bit about bullets. They were two intact but flattened 7.7 Jap jacketed bullets, with
cupronickel jackets. She was very pleased to be able to know what kind of gun they had
been fired, and the name of the cartridge after more than 50 years, at that time.



St Lawrence river valley, NY
I have no connection with Pearl Harbor, but I did grow up listening to stories of the Depression and WW2 and all my relatives that were involved in the war effort. Those stories of Uncle Bill the Marine who made many of the major landings/campaigns in the Pacific, Uncle Dick the AAC pilot show flew "The Hump", other relatives in the Navy, Army or defense industries surely fueled an appreciation of that generation and what they accomplished and sacrificed, as well as pushing me into the USMC. God bless them all!


West Central AR
I had an adopted uncle that landed Iwo Jima and a blood uncle that spent the war on a destroyer .

When my folks were living in Ridgecrest CA last they befriended a Navy veteran and his wife . He served early in Korea and married her in Japan . She was 12 for for Hiroshima . Her take was that not only was the armed populace of America a problem for the Generals but without the subservient women to cook and wash they would have starved before they made it out of Oakland had they landed in San Francisco . As a naturalized citizen she was a proud American but had lived the war in Japan with very clear memories of Doolittle's Raiders and August of 45' . I knew many in my youth that were combat vets , Rosie's , and just plain folks getting by . I knew a guy that drove trucks during the war . He said that the tire rationing was the killer . So to get around it they would buy dollies for second and third trailers and pull the wheels and tires off for the trucks and dump the dollies off at some double uncle inlaws barn with 2 wheels and 3 spares on them . They couldn't buy tires outright but they could buy dollies with 5 brand new tires on them . By late in 43' the builders would make a loop ahead of the steel drives and buy up all the dollies they could find hual them back to the plants for new tires and sell them again for $10-20 more than the tires would have cost if you had stamps for them . By 8/45 they were hardly building dollies just buying them back for $5-10 and sticking tires on them and selling them again .