My mother and her three year old daughter arrived in Pearl Harbour on the SS Dickenson just as the first bombs fell in the harbour. She had been evacuated from Fanning Island in the Line Islands due to the risk of Germany attacking the island as they did in WW1.
The crew and passengers on the Dickenson were watching the events, wondering if the U.S. Air Force was being too enthusiastic in their bombing practices, and they were quite annoyed initially.
It was then realised that the planes were Japanese, but the little ship made it to a wharf and I have a record of how the usual formalities were abandoned in order to get the crew and passengers safely ashore.
Fortunately my mother knew a few people in Honolulu and she and my sister were well catered for in the turmoil. After a month or so, they managed to sneak into California to wait for a convoy to get to Australia, their destination. It took a three months’ wait.
My mother had warm memories of her time in the USA in the midst of the country’s scramble to go to war.
— Nari Strange
(Click on the image above to see the entire Dec. 7, 1941 passenger arrival list of the Dickenson. Nari’s mom and sister’s names are listed on page 3; page 2 contains additional details.)