The Captain’s Log: A Firsthand Account of the Honolulu Fire Department’s Response on December 7, 1941

Authored by Cuyler K. Otsuka

An excerpt of page 95 of the captain’s log of the Honolulu Fire Department, from December of 1941, showing the captain’s handwritten notes from December 6 and December 7, 1941.

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, shortly before 8:00 a.m., Imperial Japanese airplanes approached the island of Oʻahu and began their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field, two United States military installations on the island. The alarm sounded at 8:05 a.m., and Engines 4 and 6 were promptly dispatched to Hickam Field to respond to the blazes and medical emergencies caused by gunfire and bombs (Bowen 1979, 126). As part of a “mutual aid pact,” the Honolulu Fire Department, a civilian fire department, assisted the United States military, and vice versa (Bowen 1979, 127).

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