The imminent 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack has inspired several thoughts for me of my parents.
‘Pearl Harbor Day’ was always very significant for my mother, Virginia Cross. She was born in 1916 and married my Dad, Clair Cross in 1939. He was drafted in 1943 and sent to Pearl Harbor later that year to work in typing orders for commanders of the hundreds of ships at sea. Understand that this was how it was explained to me when I was about 15 years old. The technology sounds accurate though.
He traveled by destroyer to Honolulu, zigzagging to avoid submarines and was sick the entire way, he told us.
Even though he was a Wayne State grad he was refused a commission because he had been drafted and not volunteered. However, being assigned to Hawaii for two years in WWII wasn’t bad duty even for an enlisted man.
Upon arrival he was surprised at the amount of destruction that was still visible in Pearl Harbor. I’m sure that was true especially given the huge amount of ships and personnel that were traveling in and out of that harbor every single day.
My parents would go on to own the Imlay City Times from 1947 until 1981.
One thing I have given thought to, and is astonishing to me. In the age before computers, literally hundreds of ships had to have supplies ordered and filled and delivered on time, letters and packages sent and delivered, food, munitions, spare parts, ordered and delivered, and it all worked.
Even though my Dad was a cog in a great machine, it is important that we not forget the people doing the daily tasks that keep our vast military and government functioning every single day. There are heroes behind every desk job in the military.
Sun City, AZ