Pearl Harbor from a child's perspective

It isn't your typical Pearl Harbor story.

While it's always appropriate to focus on those who died in the Japanese attack on Hawaii, and on the veterans who still are alive 70 years later, Beverly Moglich has a unique perspective.

Moglich, an 82-year-old El Dorado County resident, is a Pearl Harbor survivor, but her tale is wrapped more in family warmth than in the exploits of war.

As a 12-year-old, she stood on her porch and watched a Japanese pilot strafe the house from so close that she saw his eyes and can still remember his smirk.

"His facial expression indicated he was enjoying every moment of his mission, which was to kill," Moglich wrote in her self-published "Memoirs of a Navy Brat," which came out in 2010.

"For 40 years, I didn't even want to talk about it," she said.

However, a writing teacher encouraged her to expand a 250-word memoir into a book. When she sat down to write it, Pearl Harbor Day was just one chapter.

Her beloved grandfather, who arrived to join her family in Hawaii just before war broke out, gets as much attention as the attack.

When the topic is the USS Arizona, it's less about sailors jumping into the burning, oil-slicked waters of the harbor. Her memory is of boarding the ship for a family Thanksgiving three years earlier.

She, her sister and her mother lived in San Pedro then. Boarding the Arizona for a Thanksgiving feast was a rare opportunity to see her peripatetic Navy father.

Moglich's father had joined the Navy at the end of World War I, when he was 15, after both his parents had died.

He retired 30 years later, just a month before Moglich got married right out of high school – so she spent her entire childhood as a Navy brat.

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