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Combat Story

Dec 9, 2023

On today’s Combat Story we dive into stories of a handful of the brave men who were at Pearl Harbor during the tragic December 7th, 1941 attack that changed the course of history. These are stories of action, selflessness, and courage that few of us can imagine, but sound right at home with the stories we often hear on Combat Story and should not be forgotten.

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This episode includes Joe George, who was locked in the brig of a ship when the attack started and was released to save himself and then became a hero when he disobeyed orders to save the lives of other sailors.

We also hear about a long term friendship between a US sailor (Richard Fiske) who was attacked and a Japanese service member on the other side. Then we hear about a family member of a longtime Combat Story listener who was there at Pearl Harbor during the attack.

In this episode, we start by setting the context for the events of Dec 7th and the lead up to the war so we can better appreciate the very unique stories of service members who step up when the attack starts.

To help bring these stories to life, we went to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii and sat down the National Park Service’s David Kilton, who is the Chief of Interpretation at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial (his job is to bring these stories to life).

Prior to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, David worked at Rocky Mountain National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Golden Spike National Historic Site, and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (which memorializes the desegregation of that school).

Please enjoy these intimate stories of service and sacrifice in one of the most momentous days in American history.

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- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Learn More About Pearl Harbor Online:
- Joe George and Don Stratton
- Pearl Harbor Background

Show Notes:
00:00 - Intro 
00:49 - Guest Introduction (David Kilton)
01:53 - Interview begins 
02:15 - WWII Political background
 05:22 - Japanese Preparation for Pearl Harbor attack
11:10 - Sunday morning on Oahu
16:00 - Pearl Harbor Geography
17:29 - Security before Pearl Harbor
21:26 - Pearl Harbor Attack
27:12 - The Joe George Story
31:41 - The Richard Fisk Story
43:14 - The Walter Sealock Story
49:50 - Closing Thoughts
51:23 -  Listener comments and shout outs