THIS AMERICAN FLAG

My name is Patrick “Rick” Stanfield.  I live in Seattle, WA.  I’m helping to bring closure for my brother-in-law, Dr. Karl L. Voegtlin, M.D., retired, who has been in possession of this unique American Flag since his father, LCD Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., died in 1975. 

(Voegtlin is pronounced Votelyn).

PROPOSAL

On behalf of Karl we are requesting the following:

To reactivate Karl’s proposal to the Curator of the Valor of the Pacific Memorial, that the Valor of Pacific honor this flag by accepting it on behalf of an unnamed seaman from the USS Arizona.  And to recognize CDR Walter L. Voegtlin, MD, for caring for this flag at the request of that badly burned and dying young sailor.

This flag needs to return to where it rightfully belongs.  We owe it to the US Navy, the people of Hawaii and to those lost on the Battleship the USS Arizona.


They have done the right thing by protecting this US Navy and WWII treasure for over 70 years.  Isn’t it is time we put this American Flag its rightful place of honor and help bring peace to the Voegtlin’s?  

We ask the Curator to consider our offer by accepting from the Voegtlin family, this flag, in a memorial style display case, with a 6” x 8“, brass plate, engraved with the following:

In Recognition to

CDR Walter Lyle Voegtlin, M.D.

1905-1975

For the Safekeeping of this Flag

For an Unnamed Seaman from the

USS Arizona

PROECT SCOPE

The project is not bound by any timeline, but there is no stopping until this flag is home.  Research is our responsibility.

We are offering what we have regarding this story about a flag, and the man who had been entrusted to protect it.  We will look into Walter Lyle Voegtlin, the husband, father, military officer, medical doctor, inventor, writer and scientist in order to recognize his true character for having protected this flag.

CDR Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., life accomplishments, achievements and rewards came to him not because of privilege but from just being smart and working hard.  He took his request to save a flag, and while doing so he dedicated himself to and created a process that has helped countless people deal with chronic alcoholism and improve our diets, too.  He was a great man to have protected this treasure, because it was the right thing to do. 

We want to do the right thing and we ask for your approval to return this flag.

RISKS

I asked to get involved and try to help Karl provide evidence this flag is real.  I asked for and accepted the challenge to document that this flag and additional items in the Voegtlin’s possession are authentic. This is where the proof is on us to provide evidence of what had happened at Pearl Harbor, is real, and to disprove that this story maybe more of “folk lore” with many versions of it in circulation.

After speaking with the acting curator, Stan Melman, of the Valor of the Pacific Memorial in October 2018; then hearing from Katie Bojakowski, Ph.D., Chief of Cultural and Natural Resources, via e-mail in late November, we have renewed hopes that we can go through the authentication process to reactivate Karl’s request to display the flag and recognize his dad. 

We are approaching this project with the understanding that the “Navy” or any military branch, regularly receives authentic to dubious offers to donate or sell questionable war relics.  Adding to the complexity: this flags story is over 70 years old and many of the players who knew it for sure are all deceased. 

We know that trying to identify a seaman is not going to be easy.

RESEARCH PROCESS

We have contacted the following organizations for help:

  • Arizona Memorial Museum
  • Naval History and Heritage Command, Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval History & Heritage Command
  • CINCPACFLT Public Relations
  • National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO., to identify if anyone of the 24 who died between the 7th and 10thof December, 1941, Criteria included:  coming from the USS Arizona, ranks of Quarter Master and Signalman
  • Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA) and Annin Flagmakers asking for their help to see if they could identify brand markings, learn who supplied the flags to the US Navy prior to WWII, or in this case, when the USS Arizona completed its comprehensive modernization in 1929–1931
  • Not the last thing, we will try to locate where the records are kept for the Pearl Harbor Hospital and do some research on who may have been processed through them during and after the attack
  • Searches with reference to flags and the USS Arizona and have found one credible reference:  the flag on display at the Arizona Memorial Museum believed to have been on a motor launch on board the USS Arizona.1
    • 1See appendix for story regarding Arizona Memorial Museum

FLAG DIMENSIONS

Dimensions in Inches

  • Width Overall:                      68.0”
  • Height Overall:                    45.0”
  • White Boarder (one side) 01.50”
  • Blue Box Width                    29.0”
  • Blue Box Height                   23.0”
  • 48 Stars                                  02.0”
  • 13 Stripes (7 Red/6 Blue)    03.5”
  • 7 Stripes Width                    39.0”
  • 6 Stripes Width                    66.0”
  • 2 Brass Grommets               0.75”
  • Triple Stitched Seams

Identifying Characteristics

  • Top right hand corner frayed
  • 9” stain on bottom white stripe front and back
  • 1.25” stain and 2 punctures on second from bottom white stripe on backside
  • On white boarder next to the top grommet what appears to be a manufacturer stamp

FACTS FROM THE STORY OF A SIX YEAR OLD

  • At the time Karl’s father, was LT Walter L. Voegtlin, MD
  • Reassigned from reserve duty to active duty in the US Navy
  • Sent to the Pearl Harbor Hospital, lived in officers’ quarters in Aiea Heights
  • Voegtlin parents and Karl’s little sister, Carol, were home, morning of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941
  • Karl was six years old, on 12/7, he would turn seven, only five weeks later
  • He heard a commotion over the sugarcane field across the street and saw several Japanese planes flying low
  • He said he was so close to the plane that he waved to one of the pilots. That pilot looked and gave him a quick one handed solute before doing a 90 degree turn, diving into his bombing run
  • Karl’s father gathered his family and their neighbors, and secured them safely under a culvert or trestle, before heading to the hospital during the attack. 
  • LT Voegtlin, was one of the first to arrive at the Pearl Harbor Hospital and took charge as he and the few nurses on duty that Sunday morning, began to triage sailors as they streamed into the hospital. 
  • Karl added the hospital was unprepared to handle the incoming wounded.  If anything, what he thought was called a hospital could have been a medical infirmary for Navy personnel and their families
  • His father and the duty nurses identified priority and severity of the wounded seamen, by using a tube of lipstick, they marked foreheads with a letter:  M meant morphine, as an example
  • When he finally returned home, he brought the flag and the story of a young seamen from the Arizona who related he had removed the flag from a storage locker at the start of the attack and subsequently abandoned ship severely burned where he was picked up by a launch and brought to the hospital
  • Karl’s father attended to that unnamed sailor, he couldn’t remember if he had even been triaged
  • From his burns he knew that he was not going to make it through the night
  • He was placed on morphine
  • LT Voegtlin knew that both the sailor and this flag were from the USS Arizona
  • The sailor asked him if he could do something for him.  “Can you take care of this flag?  I’ll come back to get it when I’m better.”
  • Karl’s father knew that seaman would die by the next day from the severe burns he’d received from the bombing while onboard the USS Arizona
  • His dad keep the seaman from pain

It seems possible, that if the seaman was conscience, once the morphine took its effect, he would have been able to talk.  And, it seems ironic while a Navy doctor, doing his duty, attempted to save an unnamed, badly burned sailor’s life while the sailor was trying to save this American Flag.

EFFORTS TO RETURN THIS FLAG

  • Dr. Voegtlin failed at giving the flag to the Naval History and Heritage Command
  • 1975 when he died, the flag was found, inside his desk at his home
  • 2010, a second attempt by Karl when he met with Mr. Daniel Martinez, Director of the Valor of the Pacific Memorial who was impressed enough with his story that he wanted to see this flag
  • 3/6/2010 they met at the Turtle Bay Resort
    • Martinez videotaped the 50+ minute interview/conversation with Karl
    • Martinez met on a few more occasions with Karl and he introduced Sterling Kale, a 94 year old, retiree, “Navy Pharmacist Mate”, who volunteers at the Memorial
  • Karl left this flag with Martinez, with a proposal asking that:
    • The Valor of the Pacific accept the flag to be displayed at the USS Arizona Memorial, and, to recognize his father CDR Walter L. Voegtlin, MD for caring for the flag.

A couple of months had past when Karl connected by phone to Martinez.  He noted that Martinez’s enthusiasm was gone, and he said that not much had happened with this flag.

  • The Curator didn’t doubt his story, but, they couldn’t prove it, either
  • Karl was given the option
    • this flag could be donated to the Valor of the Pacific Memorial
    • it would not be displayed
    • nor would Karl’s father be recognized
  • Karl rejected the offer and was afraid that he’d never see the flag again
  • Martinez mentioned this flag would probably end up going off in box to be stored somewhere
  • Karl asked for and received a flag back

2See appendix for document on recording session.

3See appendix for second request (a transcribed copy) of Survivor Questionnaire submitted to Scott Pawlowski, Curator, Valor of the Pacific.

RECOGNITION FROM NAVAL STATION EVERETT  

Naval Station Everett, Pearl Harbor Remembrance, 71st Anniversary, 7 December, 2012.  Honored guests include Karl L. Voegtlin, M.D., retired, and survivor and son of survivor, CDR Walter Voegtlin, M.D.  Karl was asked to provide the presentation of the USS Arizona flag.

WALTER LYLE VOEGTLIN, M.D.

The flag is not only a story; it’s an obligation.

Who was Walter Voegtlin?  Why then would he have kept this flag until his death? 

Karl’s dad maintained a strict policy with his children that no one was to touch a couple of items he kept in his desk:  this flag, and an ashtray with an unsmoked cigarette. 

The story behind the cigarette goes back to the deck of the USS Missouri.  LT Voegtlin had been assigned from Pearl Harbor to Asia, operating out of Subic Bay, Philippines. From there he would be dispatched to the hospital ship closest to battle. When the Japanese forces signed surrender terms with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. That ended the formal fighting between American and Japanese forces.  LT Voegtlin was onboard the USS Missouri that day. 

General Douglas McArthur recognized that Voegtlin smoked cigarettes, so he gave him one.  He kept it in an ashtray for years, in his desk drawer. 

In a handwritten note to Karl’s grandson, he told him his great grandfather was one of three people who were there at the start of WWII in Pearl Harbor and again at the end on the USS Missouri when the peace treaty was signed.

It may have been a coincident that the Voegtlin’s were in Hawaii in 1941, but, it was no coincident that LT Voegtlin was invited to be onboard the USS Missouri to witness the signing of the peace treaty with the Japanese.

From W. L. Voegtlin’s Military service record

  • Commissioned as LT in 1936
  • Called to active duty 1941
  • Stationed at Pearl Harbor 1941 – 1943
  • Promoted to LCDR in 1942
  • Station at US Naval Hospital Seattle, 1943 to1944
  • Promoted to CDR in 1944
  • Sea duty 1944 to end of war as Squadron Medical Officer, Transport Squadron 16
  • Participated in Invasion of Okinawa
  • Discharged 1946
  • Pearl Harbor Unit Citation with battle star South Pacific Theater ribbon with battle star Okinawa

Ten years in the US Navy, three promotions and citations for a job well done.  After reviewing Walter’s Navy career, it was just a start of a long and successful career.

  • University of Washington, Director for the Research Foundation for Alcoholism, Medical Associate of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Chief of Staff of the Shadel Sanitarium in West Seattle
  • 34 medical publications that began in 1933 through 1964 on subjects:
    • Gallbladder
    • Pancreas
    • Bowel and
    • Bile
    • Cystic
  • 1940, Dr. Voegtlin published his break through research in the American Journal Medicine and ScienceThe Treatment of Alcoholism by Establishing a Conditioned Reflex
  • 20 Publications on the topic of alcoholism from 1933 to 1943.
    • Newspaper article dated March 3, 1948,
    • Article Begins, U. W. Uses Apparatus the microviscosimeter to Test Alcoholic Content of Blood – it later became known as the  “Breathalyzer”
    • Conducting a study to measure cohesion of the blood to find out if alcoholics suffer from an alcohol allergy
    • Project goal may lead to a serum against chronic alcoholism similar to serums used for hay fever, asthma and other allergies
    • No successful research has been reported on the allergic phases of alcoholism, but a few have attacked the alcohol problem from a physical standpoint:  it usually, is considered a manual or social maladjustment
    • Dr. Voegtlin, a Seattle gastroenterologist, and Dr. Shadel, created a safe way to avert alcoholics from alcohol when they opened Shadel Hospital in West Seattle
    • They believed that there was nothing inherently wrong with alcoholics
    • Rather, alcohol was the problem
    • Their philosophy rejected that there was something wrong with the alcoholic’s mind, and focused on dysfunctions in the body
  • New York Times article dated 10/19/2010 (35years following Voegtlin’s death)  
    • Paleolithic Humans Had Bread Along With Their Meat
    • London (Reuters), Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal – Indicate that Paleolithic Europeans ground down plant roots similar to potatoes to make flour, which was later whisked into dough
    • It was first popularized by the gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, whose 1975 book (The Stone Age Diet) lauded the benefits of the hunter-gatherer diet
      • Starch grains found on 30,000 year old grinding stones suggest that prehistoric humans may have dined on an early form of flatbread contrary to their popular image as primarily meat eaters. 
      • The findings may also upset fans of the so-called Paleolithic diet, which follows earlier research that assumes early humans ate a meat-centered diet
      • Known as the “cave man diet” the regime frowns on carbohydrate laden foods like bread and cereal, and modern-day adherents eat only lean meat, vegetables and fruit

APPENDIX

1 From USA Today on 11/23/14 – an article regarding “a flag” was published to announce a flag to be displayed:

Beginning of article

Officials said it’s those imperfections — on the other wise perfect flag — that illustrate the item’s significance.

Those stains are oil-fuel spatter from the USS Arizona, which was bombed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii more than seven decades ago.

Museum officials plan to unveil the flag, along with a relic of the Arizona ship, at the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix to a private audience on Dec. 6 and to the public on Dec. 7.

The flag belonged to one of the boats parked on the USS Arizona’s deck on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese air attack destroyed 19 Navy ships, according to published reports.

If people ask why officials would display a blemished flag, Alice Duckworth, Arizona Capitol Museum collections manager, has answers.  “If we clean this flag, we destroy part of its history,” Duckworth said. “We take away its experience.”

“It’s kind of like (how) many people have plastic surgery:  It makes a change. For some people, it makes it better. But for some people, it takes away their life experiences. In the case of this oil, the dirt that it collected, that is not clean up. It is a part of the history.”

It’s a mystery how the flag was salvaged from the USS Arizona, Duckworth said. The flag is not the larger Old Glory attached to the ship, she said.

The flag belonged to one of the boats parked on the USS Arizona’s deck — commanded by either Rear Adm. Isaac Campbell Kidd or Capt. Van Valkenberg, she said.  A yellow letter dated May 30, 1942, showed the flag was transferred to a veterans group in Hawaii.

Joseph W. Dowdy, a tugboat operator, gave the flag to the Department of Hawaii’s American Legion. He wrote a letter: “This flag went down on the battleship USS Arizona on Dec. 7. Some personal friends of mine who were saved after the Dec. 7 raid were on the salvage crew. Through the personal friendship of one of the salvage crew, the flag was presented to me.” A letter verifying an oil-stained American flag that sunk with the ship at Pearl Harbor seven decades ago.  The veterans group in Hawaii turned the flag over to the American Legion in Phoenix in the late1980s.

The Arizona veterans group locked the flag in a vault in its office.

The group later donated the flag to the state because, “We owe it to the people of Arizona to make this available,” Ron Murphy, a state historian for the American Legion in Arizona, told a Sun City newspaper in1990.

The Sun City newspaper showed a textile conservator, who repairs and restores textiles such as historic tapestries, worked on the flag at about this time. The wool flag was dated to 1934, according to the conservator.

The flag was first displayed in the Executive Tower at the state Capitol for four months in the early 1990s, then it moved to the museum, where it stayed until 1995. The museum put it to rest for nearly 18 years, Duckworth said.

Justin Painter, the state museum’s associate who helps with exhibits, saw the flag and inquired about its background last fall. He and another helper heard the story.

“We looked at each other stunned,” Painter said. “This flag was on the USS ship when it sank.”

The Arizona Capitol Museum also has a relic of the USS Arizona with an American flag that belongs to the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Community.  The idea is to return the tribe’s flag and replace it with the USS Arizona flag, Painter said. 

End of article

2The following is the handwritten transcript completed by Karl for the National Park Service Survivor Questionnaire:  Persons Present December 7, 1941, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.

Actual Location at the Time of Attack:

At home in our house in Aiea Heights

Brief Account of What Happened to You Before, During and After the Attack:

Please refer to an audio-visual interview with Daniel Martinez on 3-6-2010 at the Turtle Bay resort. 

1) The flag:  I saw the flag a week or two after the raid. My father brought it home from the naval hospital and explained it had been given to him by a seamen who said he was on the Arizona at the time of the raid and despite being critically burned brought the flag with him to the hospital where he survived only a short time.  A week or so later my father brought the flag home and told us the account of how he obtained it.  If any hospital records exist, perhaps they could verify that my father attended this seaman at the Naval Hospital and he was stationed on the Arizona.  The flag itself as I remember was essentially in the same condition as it is now.  The flag and some items from a downed Japanese Zero near the hospital were subsequently removed from cockpit and person of the dead pilot in my presence and sent home with our family when we left in January for the States.  I do not know if the flag was ever laundered.

The above might suggest that the flag was removed from a storage locker once the attack started but before the seaman was critically burned since the only flag that was flying was the stern flag on the Arizona and it was later burned because of severe damage to it.

2)  My father:  He was at home when the attack started.  Our house, which I believe was part of a government project, was situated on the crest of a ridge in the Aiea area with a clear view of all of Pearl Harbor.  He and I stood in our yard watching and when it became obvious the attack was underway and the USS Arizona was hit, he directed our family and other residents in the area to take shelter under a railroad trestle which bordered a sugarcane field just to the east of us.  He then drove the short distance to the hospital about 8:15 am.  (Mr. Martinez said he would review old aerial photos of the area to identify the exact location of our house).  My only knowledge that the flag was from theArizona was verbally from my father who was a scrupulously honest person and it seems that the dying seaman had nothing to gain from lying about it.

3)  The Japanese pilot:  The day after the attack an anti-aircraft gun and crew were set up in our back yard. There was also a sentry who patrolled the area which we were told was because some Japanese pilots who had been shot down may have survived and be in the area or hiding in the cane fields near our house.  The gun crew stored food, coffee, etc. in our kitchen and had a password to enter the house when they needed something.  At that time, fearing another air strike, my mother, sister and myself sleep under a large, heavy dining room table, only a few feet from the kitchen and the backdoor which opened into a small, concealed alcove.  We got used to traffic coming thru the kitchen all day and night. About a week or so after the raid in the middle of the night (perhaps midnight to 2am) there was a knock on the door but no password given.  My mother went to the door but didn’t open it when what sounded like a shot ran out. After several seconds the password was given but my mother was told not to open the door.

A few minutes later, the password was again given and she was told she could open the door.  The sentry stood in the alcove and told us he had just shot a Japanese pilot who probably had come out of the cane fields. We never saw the body which had quickly been taken away. 

I’m unaware of any crash site near our home but would not be able to see anything that may have crashed in the can fields.  We were told the pilot had a knife in his hand.

I recently talked to my sister who lives in Boise, ID and although we had not discussed anything about Pearl Harbor for at least 50years, she agreed that the accounts above was exactly what she remembered.  She is also in the process of looking thru some stored items which may be of interest to you.  I’ll let you know if we find anything significant.

Sincerely,

Karl F. Voegtlin, M.D.

3On two occasions, Dr’s. Voegtlin have relinquished this flag to the US Navy or the Valor of the Pacific. Both times the flag was returned.  If there was a letter this first time the flag was returned, it probably was lost.  This is a transcribed copy of a document from Karl to Director Daniel Martinez

Begin Letter

Turtle [RS1] Bay

Daniel Martinez

Whorton

MINOR & JAMES

MEDICAL

Summit Madison Office

Nordstrom Medical Tower

1229 Madison, Suite 1500, Seattle, Washington 98104

Telephone 206-292-6200

FAX 206-292-8029

The following is from a handwritten transcript by Karl Voegtlin

Good afternoon gentleman. I am an almost 78 year old retired physician from this community and have reluctantly been called a Pearl Harbor survivor.  Our home was situated on the crest of a hill over looking all of Pearl Harbor perhaps only a mile or so away, in a place now called Aiea Heights.

My father was a Navy physician who was in the Navy reserve and called to active duty in 1939 and stationed at the hospital in Pearl Harbor.  On the morning of the attack he immediately drove to the hospital thru strafing enemy planes, and spent the next 5 days there tending to a massive number of casualties without adequate medical supplies or staff.

When he finally returned home, he brought the flag and the story of a young seamen from the Arizona who related he had removed the flag from a storage locker at the start of the attack and subsequently abandoned ship severely burned where he was picked up by a launch and brought to the hospital.  My father was the first to see him and he gave the flag to him asking he save it until here covered.  Unfortunately, it was obvious because of his3rd degree burns over 80% of his body he would not survive even under the best of conditions. He was placed on a morphine drip and died comfortably the next day.

For the next 30 years he kept the flag at home as one his prized possessions.  In 1971, because of pangs of consciousness, that he was selflessly keeping what he considered anational treasure to himself, he sent the flag to the Navy Dept.in Wash D.C. for donation.  3 mos. Later he received the flag back with a lengthy letter thanking him for his efforts but claiming that no records were available to document his story so the flag couldn’t be used for display.  The letter went on to say that every individual who was involved in the examination of the flag had no doubt about the veracity of his story and that the flag was onboard theArizona on Dec 7, 41.

Upon his passing in 1975, the flag was given to me.

In 2010 I contacted Mr. Daniel Martinez who is the historian for the Valor in the Pacific Arizona Memorial. He said he was extremely interested in flag and its history and on a family trip to Oahu later that year I meet with him on several occasions including an hour long recorded audio/video session.  He asked that I leave the flag with him to do more research on it.  Several months later I received a letter from the museum curator Scott Pawlowski requesting I sign papers relinquishing my calm (claim) to the flag.  After several calls to his office one of his assistants informed me that my request that the flag be displayed in some meanful (meaningful) way a credit for the donation given to my father could not guaranteed and it was possible the flag be stored forever in a warehouse.  These terms were unacceptable to me and flag as you see it was returned to me.

Top 10 list

 A little “nip” in the air

The concrete reinforced railroad trestle

The return home – bombs in the yard, holes in the roof

The boys and the gun

My father return – dead people &survivors

Troubles in the alcove

The Wharton vs the sub.

End of Letter

4https://www.schickshadel.com/why-it-works/history/ to find the following:

A Philosophy is Born | Addiction is a medical condition not a moral failure.

Schick Shadel Hospital’s founder, Charles A. Shadel, pioneered many of the treatments for alcoholism we use today. He developed the counter conditioning treatment program for substance abuse, and in 1935 he opened up a colonial mansion, with a home like atmosphere for people who were considered society’s alcoholic outcasts.

Mr. Shadel believed that there was nothing inherently wrong with alcoholics. Rather, alcohol was the problem. His philosophy rejected that there was something wrong with the alcoholic’s mind, and focused on dysfunctions in the body. He viewed alcoholism as a drug addiction, and with Dr. Walter Voegtlin, a Seattle gastroenterologist, he created a safe way to avert alcoholics from alcohol.

The work of Shadel Hospital in Seattle continued quietly and effectively until 1964, when then-chairman and CEO of the Schick Safety Razor Company, Patrick J. Frawley Jr., checked into the facility. After just his first day, Frawley said he was freed from the desire to drink, freedom that lasted even months later.

Schick Safety Razor Company formed Schick Laboratories Inc. with Frawley as chairman in 1965, and it purchased the Shadel Hospital, investing $6 million in researching habit formation. The research, under the direction of Schick Shadel Hospital’s Chief of Staff, James W. Smith, M.D., resulted in a program for nicotine addiction. Programs for cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, prescription opioids, and heroin were later developed by the Schick Shadel clinicians.

For more than 80 years Schick Shadel Hospital (SSH) has been committed to providing a supportive and compassionate environment and the highest level of patient care and satisfaction to the diverse population we serve. SSH embraces patients of different race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, and marital status with an effective, unique, and proven medical treatment for people with substance use disorders to help them live a clean and sober life.

-End-

5KARL’S GRADE SCHOOL PROJECT

I want to let Karl’s own words tell his story (unedited) –the same speech that he delivered in an elementary school project while his memory was still fresh. 

There’s also a handwritten note on the top right of the page.  It’s from Karl to his grandson, Lyle, named after his great grandfather.  Lyle had also presented his grandfathers’ story and showed this flag, in a competitive class project.  He scored perfectly in every category.

Beginning of Story

Lyle, I wrote this as a report in grade school just about your age.

G.P.

Pearl Harbor

By Karl Voegtlin

I was 5 or 6 when my dad got out of medical school in 1939. He went into active service in Hawaii and we were stationed at Pearl Harbor, we lived there for about a year. We live in a house that over looked Pearl Harbor, in the sugar canefields.  I didn’t no there were any problems, because I was so young.  My Mother, sister and I got up to go to church, it was a Sunday, Dec. 7,1941. When we all went outside I noticed that there were a lot of airplanes that just seemed to be flying around. The Japanese would use our house as a turn around point to start there runs, some of the pilots turned and waved to me, right before they turned to go down to Pearl Harbor.  At that point we knew something was wrong, so my dad went down to the hospital.  We hid in a concrete tunnel, in the sugar canefields. I was exited, and was running around the fields.

We found bullets in my sisters bed, were she had been only 30 minuets before.  The Japanese planes had dropped bombs in our yard, but they were dead.  My parents were afraid that there would be another attack, so we slept under a barricade of beds and couches that night.

The Japanese pilots were told to go to the sugar cane field if they were shot down.  The sugar cane was 5 feet high, and there was food and water there.  There wasn’t any problem for about a week, until the pilots started to come out of the fields.  One came to our house in early morning.  We heard someone knocking at the door.  We were used to it, because soldieries came alot.  There were any patrols around, and there was an anti plane station located in our backyard with machine guns, to shoot down planes if there was another attack. There was a password that the American soldiers used, so my mother asked.  She didn’t hear a thing, but she thought she must have misheard.  She had her hand on the doorknob when we heard a shot ring out.  When she opened the door there was a dead Japanese pilot on the floor, with a knife in his hand.  He had been shot just in time by an American soldier on patrol.

My dad took me down to the hospital.  There were a lot of planes that looked like they had tried to crash into it.  My dad took sourvenirs from the planes, like the headbands and the prayer books that most of the Japanese pilots cared (carried) with them.  There were still bodies in the planes; no one had gotten around to removing them.

I saw the Arizona get bombed, it just exploded!  My dad was down at the hospital for over 5 days without coming home.  When he did come home he brought with him an American flag that a young soldier had tried tosave from the bridge of the Arizona. He said that he wanted my father to take care of it for him, so he did.  The young boy was so badly burned that he died before nightfall.  My dad took it and saved it; now it’s in a box in the basement.  We didn’t leave for about another 6 weeks.  The only thing that happened on the Warten (the ship we were sailing home on) was the submarines.  The Japanese had all these submarines, and sometimes these subs had problems, two were surfaced and couldn’t move.  The captain would blow his whistle and make an announcement to all abroad “there’s a disabled Japanese sub of the starboard bow” then he would turn the boat and plow right through it.  No one tried to help the sailors.  We saw 2 Japanese submarines throughout our voyage, we smashed both, sending up a cheer in the crowd gathered on deck, and most of us were either family member’s of dead soldiers,or in the Army or Navy like my father. My dad was gone for the remainder of WWII.  His time of service was almost finished before the Pearl Harbor attack, but obviously that changed after America joined the war.  He was a navy doctor on a medical ship and witnessed many famous battles, like Oakanowa, Saloman Islands,and Iwojima.

He (my father) was on the deck of the Missouri when the treaty was signed ending the way. Not many people could say that they were at Pearl Harbor when the war started, and there when it ended.

(Hand written (only3)).

End of Story


Published by

Rick Stanfield

Patrick A. “Rick” Stanfield is known for his successful and lengthy sales and marketing career in the computer and software industry that began in Anchorage, Alaska. After leaving Seattle, WA as a second grader, Rick received most of his formal education in the Greater Anchorage Area School District, Catholic Junior High School and graduated from West Anchorage High School in 1967. After attending Mesa State College and the University of Alaska/Anchorage, he began working in office equipment sales in the early 1970s. His passion for technology and what was called “Information Processing Industry” led him to a new job in Honolulu, Hawaii and eventually to Wang Laboratories, Inc. where Rick spent time from 1979 to 1996 in various sales and sales management roles. After leaving Hawaii in 1986 and finally Wang, Rick joined Oracle Software in 1996 which led him back to Seattle where he would soon joined Microsoft Corporation in 1998. Since joining Microsoft, Rick has led the development of many enterprise sales training programs for various sales positions and customer segments. Rick is the father of three daughters: Sara, Ashley and Jayme. Retired, now, Rick lives in his Madrona neighborhood in Seattle, WA, with his wife Carrie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s