Reporter’s account of Pearl Harbor attack is finally published

Elizabeth P. McIntosh, who was a Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter in 1941, wrote a story about the attack on Pearl Harbor that her editors thought was too graphic to share with readers. The 97-year-old woman’s piece is published today for the first time in the Washington Post.

McIntosh — that’s her conducting an interview on the right — wrote in mid-December of 1941 that she “felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months.”

It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you. It’s the helplessness and terror of sudden visions of a ripping sensation in your back, shrapnel coursing through your chest, total blackness, maybe death.

The vision of death became reality when I was assigned to cover the emergency room of the hospital.

* Honolulu after Pearl Harbor: A report published for the first time (