Pearl Harbor

6578dab6b046d313552f96cac30e0c93Two years ago, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sadly, I was unable to attend this monumental event in person. (It is on the top of my bucket list to actually be able to go to Pearl Harbor during an anniversary celebration). However, I was able to watch a bit of the live streaming of the event via the National World War II Museum website (I would have watched more of it live but I had to run to class but I did finish it later that day).

In honor of this anniversary, Tim Gray at World War II Foundation filmed a documentary narrated by actor Tom Selleck. During this anniversary year, a very significant book was published. This book was All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton, a survivor of not only the attack but also a survivor of the USS Arizona which was sadly sunk by Japanese torpedoes on December 7th, 1941. This book is significant because it is the first book to be written by a Pearl Harbor survivor.

51gB1hVBKLL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_ Additionally, another book was published to honor this anniversary. This one is called A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor Betrayal, Blame, and A Family’s Quest for Justice. This book is not written by a survivor. However, it tells the story of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet in December of 1941 and how he was relieved of his duty after the Japanese attack because the United States government believed it was his fault. As the title suggests, it talks about how Kimmel’s sons and later grandchildren have fought to show that it was not Admiral Kimmel’s fault.

When this book came out I was very excited and was eager to buy it. Sadly, it was rather expensive so I waited. Just like I waited for Donald Stratton’s book. Luckily, for that one, my local library had ordered and I could read it (and then I later purchased my own copy). As for Kimmel’s story, either library near me still does not carry it. So I decided to purchase it now that it is cheaper on Amazon than at Barnes and Noble. I have yet to read it but I look forward to reading it soon.

Fast forward to the following year, in honor of the attack, another Pearl Harbor survivor published a memoir of his life and his memory of the attack. This survivor is Lauren Bruner who also served on board the USS Arizona. The title of the book is called Second to Last to Leave USS Arizona. I have yet to read this book. I am so tempted to buy but it is still expensive.

I looked at the inside cover of it where publishers put the words from those who endorsed the book. One of the endorsers is a young woman named Jessie Higa. By her name it says that she is a Pre-WWII and December 7 1941 historian.

How does one become a December 7 1941 historian?



Traditions are part of history and society. Every December 25th we celebrate Christmas. Every Fourth of July the United States of America celebrates the anniversary of writing the Declaration of Independence. Tomorrow we celebrate the 74th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy on June 6th 1944. Every December 7th, America remembers the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Last July I read Pearl Harbor survivor Donald Stratton’s autobiography, All the Gallant Men.  I hope to read it again this year. This is a personal tradition. One I hope I continue every year.


In the meantime, I am looking at reading a different book on Pearl Harbor. What is a good book to start with? Sadly, my Pearl Harbor collection is pretty small at the moment.

May 13th,1940

Photo Credit: Churchill War Rooms Facebook page.

Seventy-eight years ago on May 13th, 1940, Winston Churchill delivered one of his famous speeches. This speech is known as his “blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” It is in this speech that Churchill lays out the British government’s stance towards Hitler before parliament. This is what he said:

“You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.”

The “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech was the first speech Churchill delivered as Prime Minister. This speech happens to be one of my all time favorite historical speeches as well as one of my favorite Churchill speeches. I have included down below a video recording of it.

What is your favorite Churchill Speech? Let me know in the comments.


May 10th,1940

32186483_10156449990502853_60704853013299200_nIn the beginning days of May 1940, England faced a time of uncertainty. Germany had invaded Poland in September of the previous despite the promises that Hitler made to Chamberlain in the Munich Agreement of 1938. And Germany was continuing to invade the European countries of Belgium and the Netherlands in what is known as the Blitzkrieg.

Clearly, Chamberlain’s “Peace in Our Time” speech and the Munich Agreement had not work. The British people began to see this and decided that it was high time a new prime minister was elected. A prime minister that could lead a country through another war and one that could stand up to Hitler’s tyranny.

But who was going to be this new prime minister?

There was two possible candidates.  Lord Edward Wood, the 1st Earl of Halifax and Winston Churchill. Everyone, including the King of England, wanted Halifax. The King did not want Winston Churchill.

However, there was one slight problem. According to  British parliament, a prime minister cannot be part of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Halifax was part of both. Another reason for Halifax not being elected was he backed Chamberlain’s appeasement policy.

In the end Chamberlain resigned on May 10, 1940 and Churchill was sworn in on the very same day as the new prime minister.

In honor of the anniversary of this wonderful day, I thought I would share with you a picture of my ever growing Churchill Collection.

Coffee Facts

Now that it is summer I am hoping to try and update this blog more frequently. I apologize for not updating it in a while.

My Churchill Collection

By now you are probably tired of hearing me go on and on about my favorite historical figure and my hero, Winston Churchill (if you have been following me on my author blog, History with Flair). I do apologize in advance because as the title of this post states it is another post about him. Sorry. (well, not really sorry).

This one is not the like the previous posts. It is not about his life but rather about my small collection of books on him. I just realized earlier today that I have quite a collection starting and that it would make a great post. At least I hope it does. Sorry if you find it boring.

So far I have five books on Churchill. All of which are shown in the photo down below.


The book on the far right with the red spine and titled Alone by Michael Korda may not at first glance be thought to be a book on Churchill. But in some regards it is. If you look really really close, you will be able to make out Churchill. If you can’t tell in the photo above, scroll down.


It is still a bit hard to tell but if you do a simple Google search of Korda’s book you will be able to see for yourself that this man standing beside these cannons is in fact the British Prime Minister. And in the subtitle of Korda’s book Churchill’s name is listed.

I am hoping to expand this collection with a few new purchases hopefully soon weather permitting. So stay tuned for another collection post. Some of which will become research books for my novel.


My Pearl Harbor Collection

IMG_0575World War II has many facets to it. One of my favorite aspects of the war to study is the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This surprise attack launched by the Japanese was what threw America into the war.

Prior to this post, my collection consisted of two major Pearl Harbor books.

  1. At Dawn We Slept by Donald Goldstein
  2. All the Gallant Men by USS Arizona Survivor Donald Stratton
  3. And a National Geographic booklet on Pearl Harbor

Now, I have added three new books.

December 7th, 1941 by Donald Goldstein

December 1941 by Craig Shirley


Hawaii Goes to War by historian Desoto Brown


These books were bought not only to add to my growing WWII collection and my interest in Pearl Harbor but also because I am a historical novelist. Currently, I am writing a Contemporary Romance Novel but I really would like to one day write a novel set during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hence why I bought Brown’s book.

Something that I had not planned on was what I found inside Brown’s book today. A small pile of black and white photos.



Yesterday evening I emailed the Pacific Historic Parks-USS Arizona Memorial asking some questions pertinent to my research. The heroine of my story is a school teacher. So a couple of questions were geared towards that. Can you point me to any books on education during WWII specifically in Hawaii? What Hawaiian schools were like? My final question was about if they recommended any books on the attack. Which I am now opening up to you guys. Are there any Pearl Harbor books you believe every WWII historian interested in Pearl Harbor should own?  Please leave a comment down below.


New Editions to my Library Continued

Last week I had placed a hold on the latest book in one of my favorite World War II historical fiction series and on Friday I received an email telling me that it was in. I had three days to pick it up which brings us today. So after class, I made a trip to the Cedar Falls library which called for another peak inside the Book Nook. I was so glad I did. Since my last trip, they had restocked not only the World War II section but also the Civil War.

My today’s treasures consisted of three books:

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose

A Higher Call by Adam Makos

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I was so excited to see these books on the shelves. My Dad owns A Higher Call and said it was really good. The prices for each of these books were great especially since Band of Brothers and A Higher Call were ex-library books. Finding that Band of Brothers was an ex-library book I thought it was a bit ironic because my other Stephen Ambrose book is also an ex-library book. The only downside to the Band of Brothers book is I believe a new edition of it came out.