The Effect of World War II in India and the Japanese
invasion of Malaya
......and A flowering romance
From Chapter 7: Nearing the Summit:
Naval Historical Center Photo
Pearl Harbor bombing.
Battered by aerial bombs and torpedoes, the USS
California settles slowly into the mud and muck
of Pearl Harbor. Clouds of black, oily smoke
pouring up from the California and her stricken
sister ships conceal all but the hull of the
capsized USS Oklahoma at the extreme right.
our Free Pearl Harbor 20-page Booklet
changed forever in December.
Khargpur, while waiting for the evening church service
to begin next door and listening to the short wave service
of the BBC, I heard the news of the Japanese
bombing of Pearl Harbor. The next day, December 8th, President Roosevelt asked
Congress to declare war on Japan, which it did.
a Japanese invasion of Malaya was under way.
A British battleship and a battle cruiser were sunk by Japanese aircraft off
the Malayan coast. Penang and Singapore were in danger. Hong Kong and the Philippines
were targets. Burma and the eastern frontier of India were vulnerable. Japanese
battle fleets with aircraft carriers were on the move. No one along the coast
of the Bay of Bengal felt safe.
Get the whole story! Read Stan Brush's Memoir of His Boyhood in India, "Farewell
the war was at our doorstep.We
hung blackout curtains everywhere. W-shaped slit trenches were dug, so as to
make it more difficult for enemy planes to strafe the occupants. One person in
Khargpur suffered a fatal snake bite in a dark trench during an air raid practice.
The street-level fronts of public buildings disappeared behind stacked-up sandbags.
Photography around stations, bridges and docks was forbidden. Film, in any case,
was hard to find. Censorship of all mail was now in force. At the Union Church
evening service was moved to four o'clock so church members could be home by
Beyond these changes was an
emerging relationship with Beverly Amstutz. It
began formally in late April, after she had ended things with Peter over
the winter vacation and was, so to speak, available and "interested." This
was communicated through the boarding school grapevine. So we were launched
as a couple by walking back to the dormitories together from a Christian
Endeavor meeting at Ashton Court. It happened, without our even speaking
to each other directly as the result of being pushed together by eager
classmates, who then melted away, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
[My sister] Fran, who was
my love-life confidant, was delighted, but rather quickly became alarmed
and disapproving when she realized that we [Bev and I] might be moving to
hand-holding and, maybe, kissing.
Beverly had a revolutionary effect on me. Fran, who
was my love-life confidant, was delighted, but rather quickly became alarmed
and disapproving when she realized that we might be moving to hand-holding and,
maybe, kissing. According to Frances, some of my hostel friends were filling
my head with trash. Mother agreed. Certain acquaintances could not be counted
on for proper guidance. Despite their fears, over the next few months Mother
and then Dad, in Landour, reported in letters to John that a miraculous transformation
was taking place in his younger brother. He (Stanley) had begun paying attention
to how he dressed and his manners. "You wouldn't know the boy," Mother
wrote. He shaved and pressed his suit in order to escort his "dame" Beverly
Amstutz, the "Singapore lady," home from a class party. I invited
her home for tea and meals. Mother now thought that "Bev" was
a "wholesome kid, a good spirit." I began working to match Beverly's
grades. Mother really liked that! Writing to John from Khargpur in October that
year, reporting on my social life, she said, "Bev seems to have the effect
of stimulating Stanley's intellectual effort, too. He made 95 and 100 in the
last two history tests...With his tutoring, good marks [and] assuming
responsibility, he is growing up remarkably for a 16 [actually 15]-year
raid drills and saying farewell...Chapter 8