|Posted by peggyholloway62 on May 27, 2013 at 4:55 PM|
December 7, 1941:
At first I thought it was the end of the world. All three daddies were with me, and the baby. We were having a good time drinking wine, talking and laughing when, all of a sudden, there were loud noises like about a million guns being shot at the same time. I had heard the guns from the rifle range near my house, but this wasn’t that. We ran outside, and looked in the sky, and there were planes shooting at us. Cole and Adam picked me up, and Daniel picked up the baby, and ran with us to an underground bunker I never knew existed.
On the way there, I saw several people falling down, covered in blood. People were screaming and running in all directions. I’ve never been so scared in my life. When we got underground, the three men left. People were screaming and making so much noise, the baby started screaming too. She’s maybe cried twice in her life. She’s such a good baby. She turned two this year and toddles around on her short little legs like she is in a hurry. I got her quieted down by rocking her in my lap. She put her thumb in her mouth and went to sleep in spite of the noise.
It was killing me not knowing what was going on above us and I asked another lady to look after Ramona and climbed out of the bunker.I saw a GI and asked who was shooting at us. He said it was Japanese planes, and that they weren't shooting, they were bombing. If he had said German planes I wouldn’t have been confused. But Japanese planes? They weren’t in the war were they?
I was wandering around, and found that I had wandered to an area I had never been in before. I was on a road made of white sand and I could see no one. I heard someone say, “Psst,” and turned toward the sound. It was a Japanese soldier. He was about my age. He was laying in a ditch beside the road, and he was wounded. It was very confusing. Why was one of them down here? I looked around, and behind a tree I spotted a parachute. I looked back at him, and he looked terrified. “I’m not going to hurt you,” I said, but could see he didn’t know what I was saying. I came back over to where he was, and looked down at him. He had his hand on his chest, and I took it in my own. It was covered in blood. I unbuttoned his uniform. He had landed on a branch, and a splinter of it had gone through his chest. I pulled out the stick. He bit his fist to keep from screaming, and blood started pouring from his chest.
I didn’t know what to do, but by some miracle I thought about taking off my blouse, and holding it against the wound. It seemed to take a long time to get the bleeding to stop, and by then he was really weak. I ran back to where the parachute was and tore off strips and tied them around his chest. I buried the rest of the parachute. When I got back to him he was sleeping. I didn’t know what to do with him. I was also without a blouse. The only thing I saw left to do was to put the bloody blouse back on. I would have to make up a story about why it was bloody. I didn’t think I should tell anyone he was here, and I looked around for a place to hide him. I was afraid to move him, and ended up unburying the parachute and putting it over him. I knew I should at least get him some water.
I took his helmet, walked around the area, and found a small stream and filled it. I raised him up, and helped him to drink. It was frustrating to try to communicate with him. I must have been gone for hours, and they would all wonder if I was still alive. I tried to tell him I would be back, using sign language. I don’t know if he understood. The guns had quieted down some, as I started back toward the bunker, and I was thinking about how I was going to explain all this blood on my blouse.
I could see the shocked look on everyone’s face when they saw me.
“I’m not hurt,” I said. “I was trying to help a wounded sailor but he died anyway. It’s a mess out there. I don’t understand. Why have they attacked us?”
No one knew the answer to this. Later that night, Cole came, got me and the baby, and walked us home. He told me that all three of them had to ship out that night. I understood, but was afraid. When he left, he gave me a wad of money.
“From all three of us,” he said, “it should be enough to get you back to Addison Georgia.”
But I knew I couldn’t go. I needed to look after the Japanese soldier. For some reason, I felt responsible for him.