7
Chinese-American Family

Frederick W. Chou, then thirteen, had returned with his family from Shanghai the previous May to their home on Lewalani Drive, across the street from Roosevelt High School. That was before the landmark banyan tree was planted on the school's front lawn, he said, and his aunts used to have great fun sliding down the steep lawn on large ti plant leaves. The house had a view of the entire Waikiki Beach, and the only hotels they could see were the Royal Hawaiian and Ala Moana.

The Pearl Harbor attack affected his life and the lives of other Orientals in Hawaii in many ways. Some of the effects were positive because, as Chou points out, the war broke down many of the racial and social barriers.

On the Saturday before the attack, his aunt and uncle and their two children came to spend the night with Frederick's family, so he and his father shared the sofa in the living room.

"Around seven in the morning we heard a noise in the sky. It was like airplanes doing some stunts or practicing. I thought nothing of it, since the Army did this sort of thing frequently. However, my aunt, who loved to sleep late on Sundays, looked out the window and exclaimed, 'Why do they have to practice so early?'

"My father, who was just returning to private medical practice, said, 'Never mind, I have an appointment this morning.' So he got dressed and asked me if I would like to accompany him on his walk to the office. The distance was about two miles. Ordinarily we would have taken the tram car. In Honolulu they had just gotten rid of streetcars and were using

-66-

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The Day the War Began
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction: Saturday, December 6, 1941 1
  • 1 - The First Shot 21
  • 2 - The Americans Fight Back 27
  • 3 - Adventures of the Henley 43
  • 4 - Game Called Due to War 49
  • 5 - View from the Cane Fields 53
  • 6 - Friendly Fire 61
  • 7 - Chinese-American Family 66
  • 8 - Hell on a Sunshiny Day 70
  • 9 - The Military Takes Over Hawaii 77
  • 10 - Niihau Fights Back 82
  • 11 - The Saga of the Pacific Clipper 86
  • 12 - The Forgotten Attack 93
  • 13 - On the Home Front 97
  • 14 - War Comes to the Football Game 105
  • 15 - The Delayed Message 114
  • 16 - The White House Prepares for War 120
  • 17 - War Becomes a Reality 124
  • 18 - Extra! Extra! 132
  • 19 - Strange New Words 135
  • 20 - Sudden Heroes 142
  • 21 - The Mating Dance Continues 149
  • 22 - The Nation Unifies 154
  • 23 - Hawaii's Longest Night 157
  • 24 - Defending the East Coast 162
  • 25 - I Slept Like a Baby 166
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 181
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