Early 1942: Enlisting in the Cause


The Japanese attack on Pearl harbor took place on Sunday, December 7th, 1941.  By the following Wednesday, America was formally at war with Japan, Germany, and Italy.

As the United States entered the conflict, it had 1.8 million citizens in uniform. Over the next twelve months, that number would more than double as another two million men and women enlisted or were drafted. By the end of the war, over 12 million Americans would be serving in America’s armed forces. 8.7 million of them went overseas.

My mother and father were two of the 8.7 million Americans who served on foreign shores during World War II.  But, in January of 1942, they were still civilians and 5 full years away from the chance meeting my existence would depend on.

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Learning the Art of War: Episode 1: Pre-Flight

©2016 Tom Parks – All Rights Reserved


During the first two weeks of April 1942, the war news was pretty bleak.

In Europe, Adolf Hitler was planning a summer offensive against Russia’s oil fields in the Caucasus and a move to seize Stalingrad.

In the Pacific, Japan was gaining control of the Philippines and, on the 9th of April, over 60,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war began a forced relocation that is now known as The Bataan Death March.

At sea, the Japanese Navy sank the Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Cornwall and Dorsetshire, the aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes, and the Royal Australian Navy destroyer, HMAS Vampire.

Continue reading “Learning the Art of War: Episode 1: Pre-Flight”
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