Teresa Stoner Remembers Attack on Pearl Harbor

Teresa Stoner

A Knox woman’s mother experienced one of the most important events in United States history on this date in 1941. Teresa Stoner, mother of Karen Dunn, was living with her family in Honolulu, Hawaii when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

“Sunday morning, my mom and two brothers had gone to church and I had stayed at home writing letters to friends back in the states,” explained Mrs. Stoner of the events on December 7th, 1941. “I heard quite a bit of activity, sirens and things going on, but that wasn’t necessarily unusual because it was a real Navy, Army and Marine town.”

Even though she thought it might be a training maneuver, it wasn’t long before she learned of the attack.

“While that activity was going on, my brothers came running in and said ‘We’ve been attacked! There’s something going on down at Pearl Harbor!’ Soon my mom returned from church too and she said, ‘It’s definitely happened and I hope dad’s ok.”

Teresa and Albert Gordon Stoner in 1942

“Soon after that, we heard planes going over and that was the second wave and my brother and I ran outside and we could see the ‘rising sun’ on the planes.  They were low enough that we could see the insignia.”

Mrs. Stoner’s father was the Executive Officer of the gun ship, S.S. Sacramento.

Eventually married, Mrs. Stoner’s husband, Albert Gordon Stoner, was also a sailor and was on two ships that were hit during the war.  She said she didn’t want to see the recent movie Pearl Harbor because she didn’t necessarily want to relive that time again.

Killed in the two Japanese attacks that day were 2,403 American military personnel and 68 civilians. December 7th, 1941, a day “that has lived in infamy” for 69 years.