Robert Kinzler

Robert Kinzler

"We started to wonder whether it would hurt more to be shot by a 25 caliber bullet from a Japanese weapon, than our own 30 caliber rifles." — Robert Kinzler

Robert Kinzler was not at Pearl Harbor when the bombs began to fall. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks. His vantage point was a few miles from the inferno in the harbor, but the experience was nonetheless gripping.

"I remember the sound of the first bombs hitting Wheeler Airfield. There were 353 planes in the air that day but I only remember hearing one," said Kinzler.

"We had to pass Pearl Harbor to get to our battle station across town, at Roosevelt High School, and we could see huge columns of thick black smoke and deep orange flames rising up from Pearl Harbor. We felt totally powerless and we began to wonder about an invasion. We started to wonder whether it would hurt more to be shot by a 25-caliber bullet from a Japanese weapon, than our own 30 caliber rifles. When you're 19 and facing such things, your mind goes to a strange place."

Last updated: July 19, 2016

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