by John Buckels
These photos are copies of original snapshots taken at Hickam Field (Pearl Harbor) just six months after the attack. Note that the captions on the back still refer to the ¼-ton GPW as a “Peep.”
The guy with the bayonet is my late father-in-law, Herman (Hy) Keslansky. As a motor mechanic with the rank of corporal, he arrived in Hawaii in October 1941. His outfit was attached to the 64th Coast Artillery that was functioning as an anti-aircraft unit.
Early in the morning of Dec. 7, he was entering the mess hall for breakfast, having been on duty all night, when all hell broke loose. Breakfast and sleep were put on hold as the war began. By the time the battery was organized and operational, the situation was totally out of control.
Late in 1943, he was bumped up to Staff Sergeant with the operational title of “Motor Sergeant.” After the war, he opened his own service station in Queens, N.Y. In retirement, he lived in Salt Lake City where he was active in the local Pearl Harbor Survivors group. He died in 2001.