It was on December 7, 1941 that Japan attacked the military port in Honolulu on the island of Oahu at 7:55 that Sunday morning.
"On December 7, 8 years old - I climbed the mango tree and watched the airplanes go by," George Yoshida said. "At that time, I thought, 'Gee - what a realistic maneuver this is.' But in fact, what was happening was - they were bombing Pearl Harbor. The most vivid thing was the planes - so many fighter planes shooting live ammo."
George lived with his parents on the island of Oahu. They were born there. They were Nisei - which means: second generation Japanese. His mother was only 16 at the time of her arranged marriage. A year later, George was born.
At age 8, he vividly remembers what happened shortly after the attack.
"Two FBI agents came to the house and took my father to interrogate him. And he never uttered a word as for what happened and he took it to the grave with him," George said.
Despite the discrimination and distrust, Japanese-Americans who lived in Hawaii and in the mainland were fiercely patriotic.
Many families sent sons to fight in the war while they lived in internment camps. George and his family - were not among those sent away. His mother felt like she needed to do something to help.
"My mom used to knit socks and the reason she knitted socks was she wanted to make sure that the interns as well as the volunteers who went for basic training and for war - got warm socks and scarves," George remembers.
George, who is 78 now, remembers helping knit those socks. Perhaps it's why today, he volunteers a large amount of his time to serve the Japanese-American veterans of World War II: the ones who volunteered to fight a war that came to the shores of their home.
"I can be proud of the Nissei's accomplishments because they proved that they were Americans. It's interesting: it took this long to tell their story but I'm glad it's being told right now," George said.
9NEWS reporters Dave Delozier and Chris Vanderveen are with a group of Pearl Harbor survivors and The Greatest Generations Foundation as they "Return to Pearl Harbor" for the 70th anniversary of the attack. Dave and Chris will file reports Tuesday and Wednesday on 9NEWS at 9 AND 10.
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