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Stories from Pearl Harbor and World War II

Remember Pearl Harbor


The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 launched the United States into World War II. PBS Hawai‘i commemorates the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor with stories from those whose lives were shaped by that fateful day.


The programming lineup culminates on December 7, when PBS Hawai‘i spotlights stories of Japanese Americans from the Islands who fought for the U.S. during World War II, and the legacy they left for future generations.


Tuesday, December 5


Daniel MartinezLong Story Short with Leslie Wilcox

Daniel Martinez

7:30 pm

As Chief Historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Daniel Martinez has heard stories from the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor and shares those stories with visitors. In this conversation, hear how his connection with that infamous event goes deeper than his role as a historian.

Originally aired December 2014



Remember Pearl Harbor

8:00 pm

Narrated by actor Tom Selleck, the film features first-person accounts from more than 35 veterans, and from Hawai‘i residents who witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack. Mitsuo Fuchida, the chief commander of Japan’s attack, is also interviewed. Using archival footage, photos and graphics, the documentary details the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hickam Field and other parts of O‘ahu.

Originally aired December 2016


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox: Jimmy LeeLong Story Short with Leslie Wilcox

Jimmy Lee

9:30 pm

Jimmy Lee, who lived on his family’s farm a mile from the waters of Pearl Harbor, was only 11 years old on December 7, 1941. He shares memories of making eye contact with a Japan bomber pilot who flew over the farm, and of watching ships burn in Pearl Harbor. Jimmy Lee tells what it was like to live under martial law, and describes his decades-long search for a best friend whose family vanished from his neighborhood after the attack.

Originally aired December 2016


Wednesday, December 6


Journey Home to the USS Arizona. Photo By Julie Thurston PhotographyPBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS

Journey Home to the USS Arizona

8:00 pm

One of the few crew members
from the USS Arizona who survived the Pearl Harbor attack, Raymond Haerry Sr., passed away at the age of 94 on September 27, 2016. This documentary follows Haerry’s family as they travel from New Jersey to O‘ahu to place his ashes aboard the sunken battleship.



Lt. Onoda’s Return: The Untold Story of a Japanese War Straggler

9:00 pm

In December 1944, intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army was deployed to Lubang Island in the Philippines, where he was given orders to disrupt and sabotage enemy efforts. Though the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945, Onoda and three others vowed to continue this mission. After 30 years of living as a war straggler, Onoda surrendered to his ex-commander and received a hero’s welcome upon returning to his homeland. However, Japan and the Philippines saw Onoda’s return as a sensitive political and diplomatic matter that required careful orchestration.



Road to Redemption

10:00 pm

Mitsuo Fuchida was the chief commander behind Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Jacob DeShazer was a U.S. Army Air Force corporal who dropped incendiary bombs on Nagoya in a revenge raid. After World War II, both men became devout Christians and embarked on missions in each other’s homeland, where they worked to spread a message of forgiveness.

Originally aired December 2016


Thursday, December 7



A Tribute to One-Puka-Puka

8:00 pm – LIVE

The legacy of the 100th Infantry Battalion, nicknamed “One-Puka-Puka,” continues to this day. The battalion, formed during World War II, was initially made up largely of Nisei (second-generation) Japanese Americans from Hawai‘i. After WWII, the battalion was mobilized during the Korean, Vietnam and Iraq wars. Today, the Hawaii-based battalion is the only infantry unit in the U.S. Army Reserve, with additional units on American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. Historians, veterans and several past and present service members of the 100th Infantry Battalion join us on Insights for this live conversation, which will also be streamed on pbshawaii.org and PBS Hawai‘i’s Facebook page.


PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai‘iPBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS

Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai‘i

9:00 pm

Kazuo Yamane, a Nisei Japanese American from Hawai‘i, played a crucial strategic role in WWII. Drafted just before the war, Yamane became a part of the 100th Infantry Battalion. He was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of the Japanese language, which would lead him to the Pentagon and to Europe, where he served under President Eisenhower. Yamane would eventually use his language skills to help shorten the war in the Pacific.