Forum: Civilian Action
Topic: Radio and wire service accounts
started by: Robert Paine

Posted by Robert Paine on Apr. 09 2001,3:51
I'm writing a fictional story based on real events surrounding a radio station's newscasts on 7 Dec 1941. Are any wire service descriptions - Associated Press, United Press, International News Service, Reuters, etc. -  known to exist? These would be flashes, bulletins and all real-time feeds for the first few hours of the attack.

Second, are there real-time recordings of radio - local (Honolulu) and network - bulletins and newscasts of the story? I've found bits and pieces - Murrow's I Can Hear It Now series, NPR's 1981 features - but no minute-to-minute recordings.

Any help is appreciated.


Posted by Angie on Apr. 09 2001,5:48

There is a wonderful audio site that may interest you:

This site has the famous American radio commentator H. V. Kaltenborn summing up what was then known about the Pearl Harbor attack 30 minutes after it was first reported by Franklin Roosevelt.  

It also has NBC radio concluding an episode of "Sammy Kaye's Sunday Serenade" at Radio City, New York City, followed immediately by an announcement of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 2:28 EST, Dec. 7th, 1941.  

There is also NBC with a live remote from Honolulu via telephone.  An operator interrupts the call, and while waiting to reestablish contact, news shifts to Washington D.C. and continues on to bulletins from Honolulu, Washington, Berlin, San Francsico and Ottawa. The shock of the moment is movingly captured in an extraordinary manner. A true gem of an audio historical document, courtesy of Ian Holder.  This is a Real Audio file.

There are many more.

Hope this helps,


Posted by ben e fox on Apr. 09 2001,9:44
There is an audio tape titled "Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, Day (sic) of Infamy" available that has about ten radio broadcasts (break-ins announcing the attack and a news broadcast) on one side and FDR's 12/08 speech on the other.    Tower Records has or had it in their specialty section.
Posted by Robert Paine on Apr. 09 2001,11:43
Thanks for the replies. I checked out the website and it is helpful. I'll check on the record from Tower Records and see if I can get a copy.

Early last year, National Public Radio aired a series from two ladies who call themselves, I think, The Kitchen Sisters. They specialize in rare recordings, and had one which was the first in the series, taken from a Honolulu station during the raid. I tried to track it down with no luck.

Thanks again and I'll check this board regularly.


Posted by Larry Jewell on Apr. 11 2001,7:29
Jim Miller's BBRow site starts off with a sound recording of a "break in" broadcast.  He might be able to tell you where it originated.   Hear it at:

Posted by David Aiken on Jun. 12 2001,10:27
Aloha All,
The "first"? radio announcement of the Pearl Harbor Attack is up for auction! Check out the auction info at:
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